MZK – iSetSail!

[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

There had better be more from this guy in the pipeline because eighteen minutes and change is a mere appetizer. Tantalizing though it may be, ‘iSetSail!’ is just enough to pull you in but not nearly enough to sate the ears. You can only loop this cassette so many times before it has to come out of the player or risk damage; playing the digital equivalent won’t bring satisfaction either. I’m really getting ahead of myself aren’t I.

Allow me to clarify.

Ten movements make up this mini-symphony and while there are pauses between some of them, generally the seams are impervious to detection. We’re in a technicolor wonderland spun from synthetic confectionary which is so addictive and so precisely executed it makes rationale go right off the rails. Beautifully warped rhythms skitter back and forth through an ocean of cleverly wrought effects; blasted out ravines of compressed aural strata confound us by virtue of their unpredictable tendencies… is this the soundtrack to an electronic junkyard where dying machines gasp their last or might it all just be a window to fall through which permits us to move through time itself.

One thing is certain, however, retro though this may initially sound it is no paean to the past. What most seem to have forgotten is that to do this kind of work back in the 80s you had to be a very well-established name riding on limitless sums; studios which possessed the technology to conjure up what MZK does were few and far between. Irregardless of that, no one then I listened to or knew of was operating at this level; those who could have opted to chase the charts or make gaudy videos that have all the relevance of a pet rock now.

With a mere four cassettes to their name, Bloxham Tapes continue to showcase artists of a most unconventional nature; you may look for a pattern if you wish but you’d have an easier time counting the hairs on your head.

MZK – iSetSail!
Bloxham Tapes, BT04
MC/Digital 2017

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