ZENZILE

ZENZILE

 Angers, Pays de la Loire, FRA
BandRockEDM

As one of the best media said in France (TELERAMA)
"Zenzile is certainly one of the best band of France
and one of the most creative of the last décade."

Biography

ZENZILE - Electric Soul
Released date : 24th september 2012 (Yotanka / Differ Ant)

In many respects, “Scars”, the opening track of this new album, could act as a perfect digest of Zenzile’s work: a crawling keyboard pad, an indolent bass-line, a steadily settling groove, Jamika’s voice, outrageously sexy, commanding silence, a bewitching flute echoing in the background, and the bodies become uncontrollable. In short, dub music, and

YOTANKA presents :
so many other things at the same time. The band from Angers has indeed always succeeded in appearing where no one awaited them: pioneering dub music in the early 90’s while the genre was practically unknown in France, sober and aerial when their peers tended to pile up layers, suddenly turning electronic while their fans swore by their very analogic sound, and recently coming back to original dub when they seemed to have definitely swung into rock... Then, of course, you can imagine that it is not because their eighth album is entitled “Electric Soul” that one should expect some tribute to Aretha Franklin or Al Green. This would be far too simple... Not only this record is not particularly soul music, but it is not even the most electric of their career. Nonetheless, it undeniably has a soul, which radiates through the nine songs of the track listing. This soul is a sound.
Like Grace Jones or ESG in the early 80’s, or even Massive Attack in the late 90’s, Zenzile has been able to create a sound which gives the band an utterly personal identity, digging at random in dub, post-punk, Black Music, new wave and pop. This new record thus once again meets the impossible challenge of being both surprising and familiar, as though with the experience, the band only wrote instantaneous classics. No matter how long we search their massive discography, we won’t hear much that resembles these new tracks, “Stay”, “No Idol”, “Magic Number”, “Yuri’s Porthole” or “Man Made Machine” (in which one could almost hear Hendrix’s “Angel” hovering in the background). However the band’s sound is nonetheless immediately recognizable.
Thus « Electric Soul » pays tribute to some kind of past (Adrian Sherwood’s dub with On-U Sound, Jamaicanized new wave), lies within a relative present (Roots Manuva’s better works) and looks insolently toward the future (a good half of this record will have its place on a retrospective compilation of the band’s career).
Fans know that every record by Zenzile conceals its hidden climax, a pinnacle we impatiently wait to climb with them on stage. Here, it would uncontestably be “Over/Time”, a magnificent cinematic odyssey of 8’27’’, between post-rock and spiritual jazz, which carries away bodies and souls in its wake. Apocalypse now!
Finally, one last word to introduce the new recruit of the now septet: Franco-Egyptian Jerome “Jay Ree” El Kady makes a strong impression through his protean singing and prompts the band to record its first 100% vocal album. As comfortable with afro-futuristic hip-hop scansion as with reggae vibrato or soulful crooning, Jay Ree doesn’t seem intimidated at all by his status of newcomer. His spatial voice magnificently haunts four titles of “Electric Soul”, perfectly in line with that of American singer Jamika Ajalon, more charismatic than ever, which resonates on five songs. And among other surprises, we also discover a remarkably soulful Winston McAnuff, very far from his myth of “Electric Dread”.
And couldn’t it finally be this tiny detail which sums up best this album?

Discography

*= RADIO AIRPLAY

- ELECTRIC SOUL* (2012) - (YOTANKA)
- 5+1 Box Set* (2011) - (YOTANKA)
- PAWN SHOP* (2009) - (YOTANKA)
- LIVING IN MONOCHROME* (2007)- (UWE/YOTANKA)
- META META / ZENZILE SOUND SYSTEM (2006) - (UWE/YOTANKA)
- MODUS VIVENDI (2005)* - (UWE/YOTANKA)
- 5+1 (Yellow) Meets CELLO (2004) - (SUPERSONIC)
- TOTEM ** (2002) - (SMALL AXE)
- 5+1 (Green) Meets SIR JEAN (2002) - (CRASH DISQUES)
- SOUND PATROL** (2001) - (CRASH DISQUES)
- 5+1 (RED) Meets JAMIKA (2000) - (CRASH DISQUES)
- SACHEM IN SALEM (1999) - (CRASH DISQUES)
- DUB PROMOZIONE (EP) - (1998)

ALL THE RELEASED ARE IN CD AND VINYLES (except Dub promozione)