Nzumbe is a project of Miguel Prado, Bristol-based Spaniard and busy maker of sound works. The focus of this project is ‘songs’, as opposed to his more abstract activities, but Titubeo is a good deal stranger than most ‘songs’ would allow. Enticing stuff on Organized Music From Thessaloniki.
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- Titubeo by Nzumbe
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 20 February 2015
I don’t know why I wanted to listen to this as usually anything to the left of China Crisis has my ears playing hell with me -- but something about it intrigued me. A Spaniard living in Bristol making baroque love songs using shards of ambient noise, it sounds particularly good on second track ‘Mascara de Ocelote’, where it all comes together in the most unusual way to create something quite stirring. Firstly the beats are really interesting - like bongos sped up to double time with other rhythms added in so it becomes intoxicating. Over this are added eerie murky vocals and the piece de resistance - the sound of a piano falling down the stairs. This beauty in chaos reminds me of Disco Inferno’s ‘DI Go Pop’ but it's way further left field than that.
I’d suspected over the first few tracks that despite the out-there nature of the music, the protagonist had an interest in melody and this is confirmed on ‘Agalope’ with a curling, circuitous guitar sample is used as a neat bedrock for wailed vocals before utter chaos ensues. The album takes a more electronic turn over the next couple of tracks before the dirge-like ‘Trece Lunas Nuevas’ brings to mind Nico’s ‘Desertshore’ played at 16rpm and the final 'Na Man' creaks it's way to a conclusion with blurry accordion and trumpets amongst bowed cymbals. It’s the strangest of music, but it's fascinating.
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