Zs – Xe

How about we don’t comment on this record in terms of “experience” and “meditation”? How about we stop using those words when we discuss anything related to Sam Hillmer? How about we don’t lazily classify this latest offering of Zs as an “expansion” or “evolution” of the sound? How about we just take it at face value, without consideration of the Zs discography? How about we do that like the judges on Top Chef? How about you’re Tom Colicchio and I’m Padma Lakshmi? How about we just taste the dish and say whether we like it or not?

With a revolving cast of members, Zs hasn’t necessarily been constantly reinventing itself as much as just straight up changing due to different folks at the controls. With their latest album Xe, Zs is definitely doing something less abstract, more musical, and even a little more post-rock rather than free-jazz, which is perhaps why the record is being introduced to so much fanfare. And not to dismiss the high praise–it’s a great record–but under the helplessness of my own subjectivity, I just want it to come all the more unhinged, fall apart, move into formlessness. Building and climaxing into form always seems like a step backwards in the boldness of such an exploratory band like Zs.

-E. Adam


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