ZoZe Music 2012
Sensual and sensational, a Big Apple instrumental collective project a magic light onto a mind screen.
“Cinematic” is too common a word to describe music whose “evocative” and “enchanting” characteristics don’t necessarily have a common denominator, yet this New York ensemble’s debut conjures up moods rather than images and makes elusive wonder sweetly tangible. While “Dark” which bookends the album sounds as inauspicious as the piece’s title suggests, a weave of the band’s leader, Sasha Markovic’s guitar and Sonia Choi’s cello welcome a gloomy portent in the beginning and a twilit delight in the end, the initial chamber vibe chasing off any shadow of claustrophobia – most obviously in “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” and “White Room”. The two classics are transformed almost unrecognizably, their melodies augmented with elegant vignettes, yet shaped so majestic that their beauty gets in the way of trying to catch a remembrance of what it is.
And if Eylon Tushiner’s sax delicately helps the six-string strum wrap “East” and “Mosquita” in elegiac jazz foil, equally ethereal is “Distance” with is electric blizzard, the only one in this acoustic scope. At the same time, Lori Reddy’s flute flight fashions faux Renaissance ballad “Pulse” in the folksy, down-to-earth manner, as does a mandolinesque runs of “T Feel”, whereas in the transparency of “April” and “River” Markovic creates a small orchestra out of his instrument. The more YAGULL spin their wordless yarn, the more arresting it gets, rendering “Films” one of the best albums of the year.