Ever think music was just too normal? Have I got the group for you. Harouki Zombi is the duo consisting of Orenda Fink of Azure Ray and Nina Grøttland (formerly Barnes, as in ex-wife of the of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes), and they consist of a very intriguing mix of performance art, electronic dance pop, and just plain insanity. I feel like this short EP was totally overlooked when it first came out in 2012, but I feel like in the current age where FKA Twigs is popular, I feel like they might have just been a little ahead of the curve.
That is not to say this group and FKA Twigs are doing the same thing; far from it. I feel like a lot of the beats that Twigs would use, especially on LP 1, feel reminiscent of some of the programming on this (with the exception of the Kevin Barnes produced 'Vacated Hunters', which is all of Montreal). The title track feels like if you put really weird trip hop and Madonna's 'Justify Your Love' in a blender, and then pumped it through a French language filter. The EP quickly leads you from that to a jungle drum infused track, followed by a kaleidoscopic dance track with ridiculous spoken word that sounds like a down tempo version of False Priest's 'Our Riotous Defects'. The last track, 'The Swamp Theme', sounds like an incredibly weird house track with down pitched vocals repeating the band's name and some goofy synths.
The EP also includes some remixes of the title track, but I really only think that the Deniallabs remix really does something interesting with the track and really beefs up the backing beat. Unfortunately, this is all the group has released up to this point, but I am really curious as to what they would do on a full length (their Facebook profile was last active a few years ago, so I'm probably not going to see, but who knows). The EP is still available from Polyvinyl as a double 7" on purple vinyl, so I feel like if you're curious, you should definitely pick this up.
I'm thinking of reviewing Lupe Fiasco's Drogas Light soon, and look forward to more of these album spotlights, where I'll be sharing some lesser known gems from the past that I feel could use some more attention.
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