Zelda :: 真暗闇 － ある日の光景
Japan’s Zelda first emerged as a punk-rock/new-wave quartet in 1980 with a pair of 7” singles, followed by their 1982 self-titled debut—a boisterous affair that balances a healthy diet of glossy, hard-charging rock, playful power-pop, and avant-garde art rock leanings, like the album closing “Sonata 815.” Stranger, somewhat outlier moments like this percolate throughout the record, such as on the ambient, almost proto-shoegaze “It’s always dusk in the development district,” as well as on “Darkness – One Day’s Scene,” which nears something close to post-punk perfection.
Channeling western contemporaries like Pylon and forecasting 2010-era recordings from the likes of Lower Dens and Deerhunter, side A, track 2 on Zelda leaps out with phasing guitars and pounding, unadorned percussion while vocalist Sayoko Takahashi channels Vanessa Briscoe Hay’s alternately frenetic and slow burning stylings. She moves in acrobatic idiosyncrasy across the track’s chugging rhythm, and makes way for unexpected, but delightfully dizzying lines of saxophone mystique. | c depasquale