Aabzu – It Came From Outer Space


[Reviewed by Damiano Lanzi]

The themes and aesthetics behind this album by Aabzu are strictly connected to science fiction movies of the 50s and 60s, of which the two members Maciej Szymczuk and Łukasz Szałankiewicz are undoubtedly great fans. The album title itself takes its name from the eponymous 1953 movie. The first track “Beginning of the Mission” opens with a sample from the 1968 Japanese movie “Destroy all Planets”, and many other references can be found between the tracks. The duo translates this visual source of inspiration in a fusion of electronic dub and ambient with many glitch inserts, that make the rhythmic section interesting and variegated. The album has a fluent pace, all the songs are tied together by the use of samples, noises and drones. This continuous flux of music gives the idea of a path, or the different moments of an adventure, as the title of the first song suggests.

There are in fact quite diverse moods inside the album; relaxed moments such as “Bohemian Grove” or “Perfect Zombie”, galactic dub tracks with great bass loops such as “Reptilian Eyes” or “Shambhala Vril” and even some almost drum’n’bass tempos as is the case in “Stellar Converter”. “It Came From the Sky” is in my opinion one of the best episodes inside the record. It has a fast evolution, starting with ultra deep basses and distant drop synths, it adds complex structures of glitch percussion and then, after a moment of sidereal silence, it explodes in a wall of heavy saw synths and momentary d’n’b breaks.

Aabzu can also be “pop” in a certain sense: if you remove the drum machines and add some funky drumming, “Pleiadian Agenda” would sound not so different from a Daft Punk song! Somewhere else, the music actually acquires the aspect of an ambient soundtrack, as in the shadowy “Deep Secret”, the final track before the radically transforming remix of “Reptilian Eyes” by Phylr and the version of “Bohemian Grove” made by doom/post metal band Echoes of Yul.

Despite all these suggestions, “It Came From Outer Space” sounds compact like a concept album, and maybe the fil rouge is the tribal atmosphere given by the percussions all along its length. This seems to delineate, song after song, some sort of heritage and ancestral culture of a people, yet the futuristic sounds make you think that this tribe actually comes “from outer space”.

AabzuIt Came From Outer Space
Zoharum, ZOHAR 069-2
CD/Digital 2014

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