30 Nov 2020

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Zero Plussed - EP Review: I'll Stay For One More Song And Then It's Bedtime

30 Jun 2020 // A review by Adrian Drew

Zero Plussed's I'll Stay For One More Song And Then It's Bedtime is the first EP from newly created Aotearoa DIY electronic label, Acoldplace.

Arguably one of NZ's best outdoor festivals was The Gathering, where you could wander aimlessly around a forest in the dark and stumble upon a clearing of fellow Gatherers. Illuminated by some mind-bending visual arts installation, the aural accompaniment could easily be Zero Plussed.

From the first three bottomless bass notes of the opening track Tired of Being An Icon, I am instantly transported into a dystopian sci-fi movie. The atmosphere is thick and heavy, almost clawing as the arrhythmic beating pulse sets the scene. It's all about atmosphere and space, minimalist without being empty. The constant thrum providing a spine for samples and break beats, reminding me of my early days playing around in the studio with Leftfield and Orbital on CART and DAT machines.

Coming in at just under 11 minutes, it's best listened to in its entirety to fully immerse yourself into the world. electronic music's ability to invoke emotion is much easier than narrative, but Zero Plussed manages to tick both boxes. The final track, It's A Dance Flaw, I'm Just Not Feeling It, builds with impending doom for almost a minute and a half. The heavy breathing and the repeated vox sample "What really bothers me, is to think of those people out there", put me in the first person, possibly in the toilets at a gig, as I witnessed something sordid and debauched. When the intensity kicks in, I am blurred in my surroundings, preferring to listen through the wall from the safety of my stall.

DIY can so often go horribly wrong, but this EP shows the talent and diversity this country has to offer. Typical of kiwi artists to borrow from here and pay homage there, but in doing so, create something all of their own.

It's a strong start for Zero Plussed and I look forward their next instalment... or perhaps I might just stumble through the dark into a clearing and I'll Stay For One More Song And Then It's Bedtime.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

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