Berlin experimental producer Ziúr's new album, U Feel Anything?, takes a deconstructionist approach to club music, drawing on her background in the punk scene to grind out an abrasive, challenging listen.
At times, it feels like a free jazz splatter of the sonic ingredients found in drum and bass, dubstep and the like, but careful listens reveal Ziúr's scrupulous attention to detail. In the first few tracks on the album, there are shattered melodies reassembled into dizzying structures. Following the ambient opening track "Human Life Is Not a Commodity," the next three songs manage to be quite beautiful while still incorporating some jarring, prickly elements. "Cipher" closes that chapter with pummelling dance rhythms, and "Moonlight" offers a melodic breath before the further descent in the second half.
Except for "Laughing and Crying Are the Same Things (ft. Zhala)," which fits with the more melodic first half, the second half of the record pushes into abrasion a bit too much to illicit much more than an academic interest. We are clearly supposed to be discomforted by this music, and maybe the point is that we — the collective 'we' responsible for the world's ills — don't deserve catchy hooks or danceable beats; maybe it's just unease as an aesthetic.
But whether it's a journey into madness or electronic grind-core, the results on U Feel Anything? are unconventional and powerfully distinct. (Planet Mu)