Zone Black

DC 873LP DC 873LP

"Emil Amos was originally commissioned by the legendary KPM music library to make this music for use in television and film. But after the executive overseeing their experimental wing exited the company, Emil brought Zone Black to Drag City and re-mixed it into a proper full-length album. While the record was originally inspired by old school '70s television music, like the grim, descending riffs that took us to commercial as the running back strained in anguish for the ball in slo-mo, it became a genuine attempt to reach towards a new kind of library music. Emil (Grails, OM and podcaster supreme) carves out a much more personal interpretation of what we think of as 'music for television' with Zone Black. Taking classic, dark pieces that he grew up with as inspiration, like the 'Lonely Man Theme' from the original Hulk TV series, he fantasized an alternate environment where composers were allowed to explore more extreme states of mind, while on much witchier drugs . . . fully separating library music from its outmoded commercial constraints. Imagine Brian Eno recording Another Green World equipped with Madlib's gear and a much darker sense of humor . . . or Kafka creating The Castle with a Juno keyboard and sampler instead. In the spirit of classic synth-based soundtracks like Firestarter or Midnight Express, the instruments narrate the experience. Urban landscapes in noirish chiaroscuro, fatal encounters unfurling beneath the persistent glow of riot lights, last-ditch meetings in pre-dawn discotheques . . . all evoked with synths, harpsichords and mellotrons drifting over drum machines and the arachnoid radiation of FX disappearing up into the darkness. Every track illuminates a different corridor of Emil's brain, but A.E. Paterra and Steve Moore of ZOMBI periodically step in to contribute sax solos and drum beats to amp the coloration up. Zone Black is a fully inhabitable world, its episodic narrative divided into an improbable balance between morbid, ambient anthems and insouciant hip-hop instrumentals. Emil hadn't heard it done quite this way before, so he took it upon himself to make the sound real. And if you don't hear it in the next, big horror feature (or in a new Zone Black game done up for Xbox, yeah!), it'll make great mood music for tripping in the bathtub while dreaming of a new horizon of music to take drugs to. Listening to Emil Amos' Zone Black evokes a variety of distorted, paranoid visions -- cue it up!"