issue 20 :: September 2011

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Review: Earzumba / Jib Kidder

Sueca Made In Japan / Lossy Angeles split LP [Bombay Cove]

One of the joys in running a music zine is receiving the unexpected surprise of a record that I would not have found out about otherwise. There is often the horror of pointless crap that exists only to waste our planet's natural resources, but I am lucky to find in my mailbox more of the former. This sample-heavy release is one such thankful surprise. Earzumba, a solo project of Christian Dergarabedian of Reynols, mixes samples with live instruments, mostly various synthesizers, pianos and drums played by himself and guitars from guests into a funky goulash of seven short tracks. Each track mines a different slice of fractured craziness. “Vienna Collage” is based on an “unknown straight track of an african group,” and replicates the feel of a busy street scene with frenetic piano, car horn noises, fragmented voices.

The Jib Kidder side, unlike Earzumba's feeling of musicians jamming along to samples, uses seemingly samples completely, making loops as you would find on a techno record, producing little song-like structures. Everything is tied down beat of the main sample of each track. “Zombie Flack,” I assume named for the Roberta Flack used here, makes loops of a singer's ooos and iiis. Twangy, country lead guitar licks then predominate with more samples of the singer. Many of the tracks here sound like they could be the instrumental tracks to a hip hop record. It's all very danceable, groovy and intricately assembled, but I prefer the looser jams of Earzumba.
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