Taking a break from producing music under his birth name, Lanny May has adopted the pseudonym AnimalZOO for his latest musical undertaking. A 6 track EP composed of 5 original songs and 1 remix from Applescal, Altogether provides and interesting snapshot of where Lanny’s head is at right now. There seem to be no borders in this release, nothing is restrained by any one musical style and here, Lanny seems at ease with testing his listeners with more freeform song structures and off kilter rhythms. Instead of pigeonholing this short but sweet EP into one specific genre, AnimalZOO roams free, exploring different ways of pushing together layers of sound that might seem contradictory at first, yet when given a little time and viewed from afar, make perfect sense in the end. Tracks that seem to be messy sound collages in their beginnings evolve, align and eventually take the form of graceful artworks, before picking themselves apart again, so that the next piece can start to repeat the same trick. It makes for pretty engaging listening.
There are however, moments on this EP where its discordance can become frustrating, times when it feels as though it’s asking too much of you to sit through it and actively enjoy the chaos. Lovesong sounds as though it was quite hurriedly thrown together, and for its 1 minute and 21 second duration, it serves to achieve little more than a sense of mellow bafflement. But when Lanny allows his songs enough time and space to fully stretch themselves out, the results are simply marvelous. Clocking in at 7 minutes, 1000 spacecolours builds itself up with stuttering woody sounding synths that clumsily gallop over a solid 4/4 beat. Again, disjointed and kooky, AminalZOO steadily introduces more ingredients to the mix and by the time we’ve tasted all the individual parts that make up the song, it becomes clear how they all fit together in a way that brings to light the best aspect of each bit. It’s a slow and sticky groove that for all its juxtapositions strides along with relative ease and clarity.
One thing particularly striking about ‘Altogether’ is that it’s a very well produced EP. The mish mash of sounds balance themselves out perfectly, so that when the structure of the songs become confused, the sound of them remains sharp, well polished and not too over facing. Were this release slightly longer, it probably wouldn’t look too out of place on the rosters of forward thinking labels such as Border Community or Ghostly International, its experimental approach granting it the ability to set itself apart from the crowd. However, as it stands ‘Altogether’ is so short that it can only really be classed as a tasty sampler. Certainly, it does its job of whetting your appetite for more of Lanny May’s productions, but as a stand-alone release, it just doesn’t quite showcase enough to be fully noticeable. With any luck though, this won’t be the last time May’s AnimalZOO side project will be in our field of vision this year.
Posted: Wed 19 September 2012 Total Views: 360Views Today: 0