Album Title: 
Eleven Mirrors To The Light
Release Date: 
Thursday, January 7, 2016
Review Type: 

Stefan Weisser, the human being behind Z’EV, began performing music when he was still a little child. He got his first drum set when he was just six years of age. In mean time he grew up to a conceptual artist, dancer, poet, composer and musician. In 1997 he moved over from California to the city of New York, and then he started acting under the Z’EV-moniker. During the first half of the eighties, he did release some works under that name, and then Z’EV went silent for a decade. However, Stefan restarted his activities in 1996 with almost three hands full of recordings as from then on. Amongst those releases a some collaborations with same-minded artists such as Japanese Noise-master Merzbow, House Of Low Culture / Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine / Khanate / Pentemple / Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley, or Genesis P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle / Psychic TV / Thee Majesty-fame.

Once again via Cold Spring Records, Eleven Mirrors To The Light is a conceptual album, exploring the balance and interaction in between light and darkness, ‘catching waves of luminescence between prisms and mirrors that fragments particles into shimmering washes of sound’, sonically being ‘one part subterranean and another subatomic’. It’s the completion of ‘an alchemical exploration of concord and dissonance’ in a series that Stefan started with 2009’s Sum Things (cosmological equatations), followed by A Handful Of Elements (2013; focusing on the four basic elements air, water, earth and fire, and completed with the spirit as fifth element).

Eleven Mirrors To The Light consists of eleven compositions that all last for seven minutes – quite remarkable to search for that balance. And you know, it does not sound forced; on the contrary, there is quite some naturally processing going on. But then again, this Ambient approach is quite ‘empty’, somewhat noisy in a minimalistic way, and dry – this is not the kind of Ambient that floats on spheres of imagination, dream and fantasy, yet rather on nihilism and lifeless un-happenings. I know that this sounds quite negative, but that’s a subjective opinion of myself. And since reviewers, at least as long as they are human entities, cannot ignore certain subjective persuasions, no matter how hard they try to be as objective as possible, etc… What I am saying is that there is less enthralment going on this time, and that most pieces on this albums are rather some background music (which isn’t necessarily that bad – let’s be sure about that), but I am spoiled to enjoy, and to experience, more depth, more excitement, more persuasion. That’s not totally the case this time. However, several pieces and excerpts are quite interesting, teasing the listeners’ patience in a sardonic / sarcastic manner (I like that). Especially when certain parts slowly (or suddenly) erupt, I am convinced.

So, in conclusion I have to hold the middle in between enthusiasm and disappointment. I leave it up to you to decide. My personal (once again totally subjective) point of view gets translated by the score I have to give right here, right now.