For its holy thirty-third release, Drawing Room divinely offers "Rhizomatic Gaze", the newest solo album from Marcia Bassett and Zaïmph. "Rhizomatic Gaze" is the ultra-heavy beautiful apex breath of all the wonderful things Bassett is known for: noisy electronic enraptures, forward thinking drone, experimental inventions, percussive plays, and entranced vocal takes. It’s absolutely stunning and essential listening in a level all to itself. Admirers of the dark left field need this release. Mastered by Josh Bonati for Bonati Mastering and pressed on 180-gram vinyl, the deluxe 2xLP comes in a heavy stark sleeve accompanied by an 11x22” double-sided foldout poster. The most beautiful artwork is all by Berlin-based artist Sergei Vutuc.
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Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
Deleuze and Guattari define a rhizome like a map: “The map is open and connectable in all its dimensions; it is detachable, reversible, susceptible to constant modification. It can be torn, reversed, adapted to any kind of mounting, reworked by an individual, group, or social formation. It can be drawn on the wall, conceived of as a work of art, constructed as a political action or as a meditation.” Music too can be many things – refuge, escape, a tool for engagement, a challenge, a pleasure, something to help us zone out, something that grabs us and won’t let go. By some strange alchemy, Marcia Bassett’s work manages to be all of these things at one time or another, often in wild combination.
"Rhizomatic Gaze" revels in this transcendence of simple constructions, with Bassett acting as a guide – a detective unifying disarranged territories. And so this double LP makes full use of its vastness while retaining such focus that time passes before we’ve had a chance to notice.
Within the expanse of the suite, the tracks still present distinct personalities. “Removing Bits of History” offers a chorus of distended voices clamoring for attention, showcasing Bassett’s remarkable capacity for cocooning cynicism into something fascinating and visceral. “Two in One” is a slowly evolving drone, delicious in its sheer density. When’s the last time you really heard a shape spread like the surface of a body of water? “Shadow of NYC” brings voices and percussive elements into dialogue with a level of natural unease and all the shuttering, stuttering rhythms of a New York subway. “Curtains” swings sonic pendulums atop a confounding and melancholy bed, as fleeting as it is impactful. And that’s not even the half of it.
The record is a weighty addition to Bassett’s catalog, and also to a heavier-than-heavy New York experimental lineage. In form, scope, and detail, it spreads its wings and means it. I’m sure your life is busy, with many blinking, twinkling things competing for your attention, but you are better off if your gaze is just a bit more rhizomatic. So look no further. Matt Krefting, 2018