Za!  - Wanananai

Za! - Wanananai

If you're looking for an album to dance to, I would advise you to steer clear of Za!'s Wanananai. However, the band's new release does offer an unexpectedly mesmerising experience to any listener who can accept its strongly experimental nature.

While Za! is from Barcelona, the band's national sound only subtly finds its way into their dated trumpet lines and communal vocals, which are particularly prominent in the tracks 'Torrefacto Wagneriano' and 'Subeme El Monitor'. The Barcelona buck stops there, but other influences exotic to the Western ear reside in 'Gran Muralla China', where Za! creatively combines Chinese flute and miscellaneous electronics. The track also hints at the Asian inspired pentatonic scale in the parallel vocal and electric guitar lines, and brings a hyperactive energy to an otherwise hypnotic style. This energy is consistent through most tracks, where explosive textures and spasmodic rhythms are looped into a vivid oblivion.

Although the layering of instrumental voices is well planned to form contrast and break momentum, the lack of an overall solid structure allows each track to seamlessly blend into the next. This gives the illusion that the album is one continuous song, and its heavily repetitive beats and drone-like sounds are almost trance-inducing.

Wanananai is a clear example of the way that, when confronted with too large a wave of distorted and unspecific sounds, our ears will naturally zone out – and in Za!'s case, this process is not made unpleasant.

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