John Zorn
Mount Analogue



by Xenophanes STAFF
May 5th, 2012 | 8 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: John Zorn has made a career on being strange, and thankfully years into his legacy things don’t look to be changing anytime soon.

John Zorn has built a career on digging deep into the furthest reaches of musical expression, twisting genres with a convoluted mastery that cannot helped but be admired. His styles range from classical to jazz, from grind to avant-garde, and just about everything in between. Rarely, however, do we get the opportunity to see Zorn pinned down to Earth. Granted, that’s why his devoted fans have come to love him so, but for the uninitiated Zorn’s music is a tad unwelcoming to say the least. Yet with Mount Analogue, John Zorn has made a record as equally appealing to fans of his more avant-garde leanings, as well as those who have been itching to find a way into his unwieldy discography.

Mount Analogue isn’t particularly new in a sense that it has Zorn written all over it. It’s ineffably strange, with tons of intrigue and peculiar sounds to keep one hooked. Featuring loads of variety and different sorts of instrumentation, the album moves between moods and sounds effortlessly. So much in fact, that it feels shockingly cohesive. This is truly welcomed considering the album is actually one long for composition. That’s right; the nearly 40-minute beast is actually one eponymous track. Thanks to some clever songwriting and a perfect production, the song flies by with a sense of purpose that doesn’t usually occur with such a cumbersome runtime.

“Mount Analogue” begins unexpectedly with a tense acoustic guitar being strummed rapidly. The song then opens up into an ominous and mysterious key and percussion section that builds intensity all without feeling forced. The feeling subsides and Zorn’s signature “lounge-y” sound enters in, giving off a very light and relaxed mood. This all happens within the first two minutes. From then on it is a confounding blend of neo-classical, avant-garde, tribal, and experimental, all being tied together beautifully. What makes it such a rewarding listen is how well it all fits together. These things shouldn’t go together at all, especially at such a rapidly altering pace, but they simply do. It is the mark of a man who truly knows how to manipulate sound, but without sacrificing the integrity of the music. Mount Analogue is a no frills, filler-less record filled with simple and untainted instrumental bliss.

John Zorn has made a career on being strange, and thankfully years into his legacy things don’t look to be changing anytime soon. Mount Analogue is a wonderful listen from start to finish and a sure fire winner for fans and newcomers alike.

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user ratings (15)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2012


Well, it's a good review mate. This guy's music is pretty intense. POSd.

May 5th 2012


What stopped this from being better than your 3.5 rating ?

May 5th 2012


i'm a huge john zorn fan dude, would you say he's going the jazz route with this release or his usual grindcore/avante-garde/free improv on crack.

May 5th 2012


Didn't like Nova so i'm gonna pass

amazing piece Xeno, you're on a roll

May 5th 2012


I love this.

May 5th 2012


Zorn figures into my to listen to list. Maybe it's time to investigate.

Digging: The Claypool Lennon Delirium - Monolith of Phobos

February 21st 2019


His jazz work is as fantastic as his hardcore stuff. Will listen this.

Digging: Gabor Szabo - Dreams

February 21st 2019


Yeah. Kristallnacht is such a powerful album.
He also did hardcore jazz for a bit; Naked City anyone?

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