There’s a hymnal quality to R Zak‘s latest work Dialectics that gives it such an inescapably hypnotic listen. Layering hand-beaten percussion, electronica samples, dream-pop textures, folk melodies and avant-garde techniques, this 13-track-record is a mediative escape into thoughts unknown.
Really thought, Dialectics is a peak into R Zak’s creative world, in which she brings together her study as a classical viola-player, her membership in reggae collectives and hardcore punk bands, and touring with indie band The Apple Miner Colony and opening for the likes of Buckethead and Beirut. This desire to blend styles and genres comes directly from R Zak‘s childhood in which she was encourage by her piano and viola teachers to explore all ranges of music and not to be rooted into just one.
Here the Portland, Oregon via San Antonio, Texas musician speaks about the deeper intention behind her new album:
“The title is “Dialectics” which has many meanings, depending on the context. The way I am using it, it is a reciprocal exchange between opposites, mutual sustenance, vital interaction. Every track on the album represents some kind of interaction between my own creative impulse and the art works of others. For melodic inspiration I have looked to the Cantigas de Santa Maria, an ancient Spanish hymn book, as transcribed by Chris Elmes. These melodies breathe with fresh life in eleven of the songs. For lyrics, I have worshipped the poetry of Lorca, Yeats, Joyce, Zitkala-Sa, Wilde, as well as living poets Mary O’Donnell and Sydney Acosta. The cover art is a portrait by Lizeth Niño, a visual artist based in Portland, OR and Piedras Negras, Mexico. Surrounding myself with great art is important to my spirit, and I have tried to do justice to the brilliant works that have inspired me. In working on this album, I gradually realised that I am not satisfied with my music until it is danceable, so I really hope the music moves you physically and elevates your mind. I hope it’s as refreshing as a fresh landscape.”
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