Based in Portland, Oregon, home to more than a few music mavericks over the years, R Zak is a skewed pop project which sounds as though you’re being dragged towards space rocks by an outer space Siren. It somehow manages to throw the kitchen sink at a collection of beautifully-carved songs yet feels completely DIY at the same time. For all the flights of fancy, unusual arrangements and unexpected twists, it feels deliciously real and human, no mean feat. Coming from a classically-trained background (on viola, no less), this has the intelligence and invention that pop music – if that’s what this truly is – so often lacks.
Though a disciple of Bjork, this is not angular or jarring, rather wave upon wave of electronic washes of comfort slickly wrapped around R Zak’s gorgeously whispered vocals and spooky instruments emerging from the purple mist.
“There’s no training or even protocol when it comes to real music making. There’s only immersion. It just becomes a physical need like the need for truth. The music simply has to come to life through you; you are just a vessel for it. Nothing else can really touch you at that point. The music gives you such strength and independence while at the same time bonding you emotionally with the entire world. It’s so mysterious!”
…and so say all of us. R Zak’s album, Dialectics, is out now and is highly recommened.