Adrian Lane
Asaf Sirkis
Zen Land

A Guide For Reason
Bang On A Can All-Stars
Hafdís Bjarnadóttir
David Chesky
Alex Cobb
Max Corbacho
DJ Cam
Döring & Korabiewski
Benjamin Finger
Gore Tech
Rachel Grimes
Hollan Holmes
Hosomi & Hatakeyama
Human Suits
Ayn Inserto
Terje Isungset
Adrian Lane
Valentina Lisitsa
Branford Marsalis Quartet
Multicast Dynamics
O'Donnell with Kent
Yui Onodera
Onodera & Bondarenko
Prefuse 73
Steve Roach
Rothenberg and Erel
R. Schwarz
Stetson and Neufeld
Satoshi Tomiie
Gareth Whitehead
Zen Land

Compilations / Mixes
Francesco Tristano

EPs / Cassettes / DVDs / Mini-Albums / Singles
Four Hands
Heights & Worship
My Home, Sinking
Prefuse 73

Heights & Worship feat. Carlton Livingston: Crucify Me / Crucify Me Dub
ZamZam Sounds

RSD: World Hungry / Dub Pride
ZamZam Sounds

The vinyl operation we know and love as ZamZam keeps rolling along, this time with two characteristically appealing seven-inch releases by RSD (in a one-time pressing of 800 copies) and Heights & Worship (700 copies). Though both of these eight-minute releases are over quickly, it's easy to be seduced by their vinyl single charms.

Long-time producer Rob Smith, who helped define the Bristol sound as More Rockers and Blue & Red and as part of Smith & Mighty, appears in his RSD guise (Rob Smith Dubs) for his ZamZam two-tracker. His ample skills are showcased on “World Hungry,” which deftly conflates multiple styles in merging an uptempo and heavily syncopated breakbeat groove with deep bass lines, guitar accents, piano sprinkles, and all manner of sonic colour—echo effects, plucked strings, and even the warble of a choir. Even funkier is “Dub Pride” in the way it works jungle, acid, drum'n'bass, and roots reggae into its stuttering rhythm framework. But if the musical presentation is impressive, so too is a production design that sees Smith treating the elements like silly putty. A diverse array of sounds swims in the ever-mutating mix, and in four minutes the music shifts from genre to genre with consummate ease.

On their second ZamZam outing, Heights & Worship (aka Ras Heights of Ital Sound System and Rob Paine of Worship Recordings and Solomonic Sound) join forces with reggae veteran Carlton Livingston for vocal and dub versions of “Crucify Me.” The cut lunges from the gate with a forward-thinking take on reggae and dub spritzed with harmonica and synthesizer, after which Livingston surfaces to wax wryly upon the challenges of day-to-day life in East Kingston, Jamaica. Yet as compelling as the vocal performance is, it's the instrumental material by Heights & Worship that's truly ear-catching. Without betraying the traditions of dub and reggae, the two create a soundworld bursting with energy and imagination, and the accompanying dub version does nothing but amplify the degree to which they manage to invigorate the genres with bold production treatments.

June 2015