Boomkat Product Review:
Smart debut set of analogue wave riders sounding like early Sheffield instrumentals by BEF, The Human League Richard H. Kirk - perhaps a logical study in the roots of Cathal Scully a.k.a. Group Zero’s work with the C86-styled Girls Names… RIYL L.I.E.S., Diagonal, Blackest Ever Black
"Debut record from Group Zero (Cathal Cully - Girls Names). Using synthesizers and drum machines, 'Structures And Lights' glistens with subtle Euro sophistication - pairing cold-wave optimism alongside freaky and brutal tracks for the more open-minded DJs and dancefloors. Written, recorded and mixed intermittently over four years, the narrative of ‘Structures And Light’ is bound by a deepening connection with electronics, instrumentation, and the studio.
With no imminent touring schedule or release deadlines, Cully built a modest home setup and began producing on his own again - “It was as an exercise in my own development and it was fun. It brought the naivety and spontaneity back to making music”. Initially, it was for his personal consumption alone - selfishly indulgent. In fact, this first collection of Group Zero music - along with a library of other ideas and sketches - was thought to be eternally lost and all but forgotten until a chance conversation with Touch Sensitive led to the tracks being salvaged and subsequently restored. The genesis of this newly discovered musical freedom coincided with a viewing of ‘Pyramid of Light’ by Heinz Mack from the post-war Dusseldorf based Group Zero art movement which resonated deeply. “It stirred up questions and emotions which I could not get from a book or a screen. It was the direct relation between me, the light and the physical object hanging on the wall. New moments of beauty locked in the memory. I was in awe.”
Cully was also taking influence from a range of contemporary electronic producers - on labels such as LIES, Diagonal, Optimo Music, Blackest Ever Black, and PAN: “These records felt as much in keeping with post-punk traditions and my own DIY background whilst tapping into the primitive ideas of masters such as Cluster, Suicide, Malaria! and the proto-techno of pre-club music.” Just as a structure obscures or reflects light furnishing us with new ways of seeing; the propulsive rhythms in 'Structures And Light’ reveal subtle differences on each repeated cycle. This is music to go away from and travel to. “Here’s a record from a Belfast bedroom that sounds nothing like the city, past or present. It’s made with synths and drum machines, and it glistens with subtle Euro sophistication. Day breaks: dig those fast linear movements and rhythms (‘The Fantasist’). Then fall for the unexpected guitar line in ‘Pursuit’; a gentle kind of cold wave optimism. Night heals: there’s ‘pummelling repetition’ here too, for the club freaks or shut-ins. Slow, industrial shocks that give way to ‘Pyramid of Light’s stark new-age burst. It’s a record for the present - full of gorgeous themes that dream unwired.”