Sunday, 24 August 2008

Review - Zebidee - Planet Zebidee

Zebidee - Planet Zebidee

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6 out of 10

When you write a concept album about an outer space explorer's voyage to the fictional Planet Zebidee, you can pretty much guarantee the reviews will be full of references to the otherworldly and have loads of metaphors about planets and stars, and this one is no exception. Mike Nicholls, a session musician and sci-fi fan operating under the guise of Zebidee, has set the tone though, from the sleeve notes to the album's final (And only) words: "Do you come in peace?"

Initially, the tinny beats and industrial squeaks and squelches don't sound too extra terrestrial, but 'Descent' eventually splutters into a Jeff Wayne-inspired disco number that sounds more like taking off than coming in to land. 'Desert Rover' sounds like a reworking of the 'Close Encounters Of The Third Kind' theme tune, but apart from that the unusual sounds used by Nicholls are from this world, even if they appear in odd combinations.

'Submarine's' beat is like a beatboxer eating Pringles at the same time, while later on he samples the sounds of the sea. The gargled drum & bass of 'Beasts' appears to have the sound of a cow mooing, while elsewhere Nicholls draws upon the bounce of early Daft Punk ('Eat My Genes'); the ringing beats of Chris Clark and Aphex Twin ('Radio Hawk', with it's disembodied, wordless voices). The chill out music on 'Glass Forest' has hints of 1960s jazz and Afrobeat, while sinister Eastern sounds, Aboriginal rhythms, festive church bells and big beat feature on 'Sentient?' and 'Hive City'. Maybe not a journey into space then, but certainly an odd one.


1. Descent
2. Submarine
3. Radio Hawk
4. Desert Rover
5. Beasts
6. Glass Forest
7. Eat My Genes
8. Mud Fairies
9. Hive City
10. Sentient?

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