[Review: Skeleton Zoo, ‘The Busride EP’]

Tribal glitchwave with a broad scope, The Busride EP is an excellent offering of “post-elevator music” from Steve Goodwin and Zeek Barnett, who create the exhibits of Skeleton Zoo from Albany, New York.  Taking part in the reinvention of the beat generation a half-century later, their digital concoctions exemplify the global fusion taking place across most genres of music as the twenty-first century marches on.

Skeleton Zoo’s electronic collages reflect the measured madness of society’s impositions.  This dizzying spin through the arrayed skeletons of our present civil constructs opens with simple African percussion. The Busride then quickly climbs into gear as the journey begins, belching distortion and barely intelligible utterings amid the chaotic tribal musings of “Nelson Mandala.”

Gurgling overtones built atop harmonic repetition provide the stage for a flurry of samplings spanning humanity’s exhibition.   Dreamy glitchwave builds the ambiance, allowing hazy glimpses of half-remembered moments to drift across consciousness before receding once again.  Whispered words and scratchy rhymes smoothly flit about the painfully soulful reminder that “time will heal.”

Passengers exchange the ride for a stroll through the nonsensical dreamscape of Willy Wonka.  Echoing rhythms built around Gene Wilder’s half-mad crooning spurs the listener onward through shimmering walls of resonance.  Into the chaotic “Colorless Dystopia” of our future, sonic accoutrements of the past left behind in the face of memory.  Whizzing through the wasteland left behind by excess, a blurred world helps make everything a little clearer, xylophone firing into silence.

Returned to the present, we find the bus rolling through frozen expanses of electronic orchestration.  “Snowdrifts” shift, whisked into new configurations, the road behind quickly swallowed up by the drifting accumulation. Fuzzy murmurs and a single string, the path suddenly shining as the guides veer eastward through the pastures of the Skeleton Zoo.

Skeleton Zoo’s pair of curators engineer mesmerizing sonic displays for their visitors.  Harps and mysticism fill the air before chanting floods a horizon of plodding “White Elephants.”  Newsreel narration, chanting shamans, and a slew of orchestrations layer precisely, “a heavily bearded remnant of the beat generation.”  Strings and samples of the white man’s lackluster attempts to easily define what lies beyond understanding coalesce into a fleeting look at the world as it was.

Into the lonely night and skyward, The Busride stares upward as the expedition darkens.  Specters float across the inky blackness, stars shining through the gloom to eerie warbling.  Glitchy echoes of dub as a haunting voice caresses the loneliness of the witching hours.  Gears shift, the dimness pierced by the glittering “Rainbow Road” that floods the windshield.  Hip-hop rhymes and synthesized technicolor speed pilgrims back into the silence of their thoughts as things shimmer to the close.

Check out their work for yourselves via the world wide waste.  Cost: free dollars on their bandcamp site.

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Review by a career in the haw haw haw haw 


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