Friday, December 10, 2010

Zokova - First impressions.

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Note II: This article has been edited since the original publishing date.
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Zokova is an experimental post rock project conceptualized by Ritwik De of Mindflew . The aim of the project is to highlight the various emotions in daily life that are often neglected.

Zokova’s debut is not just about the music. It’s about depth and emotion. A story through a mix of music, narration and visuals.

Recorded at Ritwik De’s home studio, it’s nothing short of being impressive. The ten tracks seamlessly merge into one another.

Being predominantly instrumental none of the tracks contain active vocals.
The only ones you hear are narrations in first person. It’s an experimental set that catches your attention almost immediately.

Essentially the story of love, the tracks, each try it’s best to make you feel the emotion felt at that stage of the story. 

The tracks incorporate samples ranging from bicycle bells, to vocal samples of children that seem nonsensical but at some level, come across as a commendable work of art. If their music could be put on canvas, you’d stop to look, more than once.

The track “ Feel” starts with a narration and escapes into subtle samples of children crying and laughing, phones and the like.

It drifts into “Lost in the jungle” which is an ambitious track, which starts with a cycle bell and an environment of a roadside with a train running in the distance and within seconds the bass line kicks in. The subtle timbre of clean guitars echo throughout the soundscape with the sounds of a dot matrix cash register popping in, accompanied by a sample of children’s voices.  What they say may not matter, because it may not make sense at first, but what’s important is, the tremendous impact it has on the listener. This progressive track ends with the guitars and drums coming in at the peak of the song. This is one that leaves you wanting more.

“Who am I?” is another track worth specifically mentioning. Being the last track, it starts with the narrator stating “All good things come to an end……..no…all good things are brought to an end”

Overall, this is album essentially scores all 'A's But somehow the story and the narration aren’t up to the music and overall sound design. One can’t help but feel at certain points that the narration destroys the impact of  the song. One can’t help but feel irritated at the narrator and wish he would seal his lips and let the music do the talking during those few seconds.

 The story also might come across  a bit too stereotypical, and will probably make you go “not again” in some places. It might come across as an adolescent infatuation gone wrong. It comes within inches of being slightly 'Emo'.

It’s a conceptual foray that needs some amount of dedicated listening for first time. But judging by what this debut package has to offer, one can’t help but wonder about the endless possibilities in store for Zokova.  It’s fair to describe their final product as an environment where it seems like you have Tortoise and hammock jamming with 65daysofstatic and Explosions in the sky with M.I.A .  This is one project definitely worth paying attention to.

If you haven’t yet heard of Zokova. Please check them out at http://www.reverbnation.com/zokova

Their CD will be launched by Christmas 2010. 

Rating: 4.5/5



4 comments:

Rudraksh Banerjie said...

Loved Zokova!

Disguise said...

You should do this for a living, you know? :)

Meher S B said...

You're right, they're good. But after checking out he songs, even I wished that sometimes the narrator would just stop talking.

P.S. You review really well.

UjjwalRaaj said...

@Rudy : I'm glad! :)
@Disguise: Lets see where life takes me.
@Meher: Thanks. I've suggested the changes to them, Zokova will be an audio visual gig, like BLOT only with post rock...so lets see, the tracks put up are demos as of now so yeah. :)

Check out my linkin park review here http://sourcanvas.blogspot.com/2010/10/album-review-linkin-park-thousand-suns.html