Michael Zorn Cruel Summer

Though the title reminds me of the Bananarama song, the music on Cruel Summer is stylish tech-house, techno and down-tempo. I would assume that this CD is also available as a twelve-inch, since the track listings also denote an A- and B-side. This CD opens up with "Intro," a brief yet lush track that has jazz cymbals and resonating piano notes. Enter "The What-If-Machine," a nervous sounding, Twerk-like tech-house track, and "Thanks Human Female," which has a funky rhythm with electronic gurgling noises. "Seamonkey" is a more rigid, meditative track comprised of a mechanical sounding rhythmic loop. Then there is "The Whaling Tune," a distinct pleasure to play several times over, since it is evocative of some of the more epic tunes of the early '90s, with its avalanche-like musical pattern formations. I could curl up to and wrap my mind around this track for a long time. "Visit My Towel" is a mellow comedown after the last track, utilising the same dub-drenched techno approach epitomised by the Basic Channel/Chain Reaction crew. "I Can See the Sun" ends Cruel Summer on a down-tempo note, with rhythms resembling the music of Pole and techno keyboard lines similar to Human Mesh Dance. Out of the hoards of dance floor techno CDs and twelve-inches being released each month, it is a relief to hear something varied yet fresh. (K2O)