Boomkat Product Review:
Top dogs Justin Broadrick & Kevin Martin meet Moor Mother to revive their Zonal alias some 20 years after the project’s CDr demo album first appeared on Avalanche.
Essentially conceived in 2000 as a follow-up to Techno Animal, the Zonal beast is now reawakened as a joint vessel for Broadrick & Martin’s grouchiest drones and bass with added vocals by an indomitable Moor Mother, who is right on the cusp of dropping her best work in the ferocious ‘Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes.’ In combination they amount to a proper force of nature, albeit a super slow and cantankerous one, creeping up from the peripheries to dominate the senses with their choking style of water-logged dub noise.
Broadrick & Martin’s scorched ground is now more dense and sodden, spreading out to uncertain ground which Moor Mother holds with glaring declarations of her signature blues and quantum futurism for the first half of the record. The 2nd half is then given to elemental instrumentals with heavy duty results, seeing Broadrick & Martin throw their full, combined weight in six speaker worrying trudgers laced with scathing levels of distortion.
We hardly need to stress that this is like manna for all red-eyed types who’ve never gotten over that late ‘90s illbient phase, as well as those who’ve picked up on its spirit thru contemporary echoes in Kevin Martin’s hybrids of industrial music, experimental dub, and cyberpunk dread as King Midas Sound and The Bug, or Broadrick’s JK Flesh and Jesu outings.