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Monday, May 6, 2019

The Zyklons – s/t ( Concrete Noise, 2019) ****

By Fotis Nikolakopoulos

I came across The Zyklons while doing my favorite surfing routine through discogs’ enormous database. Never heard them before, so to my pleasure I realized they were fellow Athenians, one of the few here that struggle with the pains of improvisation. In the mean time, a few weeks back, I caught them live witnessing their need to experiment and not present a solid image of the duo. Well done guys.

The three long tracks that comprise this cd are improvisations recorded, more or less, a year back. Alex M. is on many noises (toys, keys, electronics, voices) while Perseas Rizos plays the sax. My first feeling when listening was that it is a mixture of the Incus ethos as it was channeled by the second wave of British improvisers. There’s a strong sense of camaraderie throughout the recording. The guys are friends and this fact constitutes their way of playing. It is by communicating in situ and every time in a different manner.

You get the feeling of a continuity and fluidity all along the three tracks. Rizos, through his sax, is always on the watch to act upon, or react, on what Alex M. is doing at the moment. A strong feeling of freedom comes back to you when listening to the three tracks. The rhythms that Alex M. produces come from different views of the sonic spectrum: industrial, free jazz, noise always in a playful manner. Hidden beneath all those elements is an amateur’s view of fooling around or, even better, of a child’s game.

Do not get me wrong, the guys are very serious about it and put a lot of effort. But that sense of humor, of not taking yourself absolutely seriously, is always there, always ready to remind us that music making is an enactment of freedom. Take a chance on this freedom, as I did, and listen to The Zyklons.

@ koultouranafigo