Discord Aggregate

The Attack of the Absolute Zeros

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The Attack of the Absolute Zeros is one of a kind. Presented as a "free jazz non-opera," it blends spoken words, vocal experiments, free jazz, and sound art with a narrative that feels like a postmodern version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This first music production was collectively conceived by the three members of Discord Aggregate, although one can easily assume that singer Pamela Zero took care of the musical compositions, while writers A. Molotkov and S.B. Reda handled the libretto. This time around the trio reached out for studio musicians: guitarist Byron Rynes, saxophonist Zeppi Salerno, keyboardist Scott Mayfield, bassist Tony Johnson, and drummer Jason Willard were brought in to add flesh on some numbers, representing about half of the album. The remaining half features complex textures of vocals, spoken or sung. Listeners are told of the story of the Absolute Zeros, alien invaders: "They came in the shape of zeros and proceeded to devour all" ("The Descent"). They abduct humans by draining their energy and making them cold. The whole album tells about their taking over the Earth. Reda narrates with true acting talents. Zero's voice is the real musical interest here: warm, flexible, captivating. She goes from bel canto to screams and multi-layered compositions. The music itself reach heights in "Zero Cold," a funky free jazz tune, the more free-form "Spin" and the Gong-tinged "Be and Be and Be and Be." Fans of strange hörspiels, vintage sci-fi, and experimental vocal music should definitely give this CD a listen. And it's easier to get into than the collective's 2001 follow-up, The Texture of the Sky.

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