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zakè 'B⁴+3' [CS]

zakè 'B⁴+3' [CS]

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Solid black cassette with dark gray imprinting, housed in a clear norelco box with an O-Card slipcase. Loaded with FerroMaster C456™ super ferric, ultra-high performance type-1 music grade analog tape. Shrinkwrapped. Limited to 50 units.


zakè – B⁴+3 (Zake Drone Recordings, 2024)

“Monochrome drone for the gray days we see more often than we wish.”

This is the enigmatic description given by zakè (aka Zach Frizzell) of B⁴+3, a reimagined and expanded edition of B⁴ (Zakè Drone Recordings, 2023), which was originally composed to accompany a limited series of striking, chiaroscuro art prints created by the artist.

While the suite may conjure grayscale melancholy, it is characteristically brimming with texture and depth. Anyone familiar with Frizzell’s worldly catalog of tape-saturated drone knows that each volume exists in its own unique climate, and forms a distinct topography – with B⁴+3, you might imagine a weathered harbor dock at dawn, with black water rippling out into fog, and dense swathes of old-growth looming behind.

“Bracken” opens with delicate harmonic themes that build into vast waves, while a granular crackle intimates the last throes of life in the soil before hibernation. Like much of zakè’s work, its simmering power comes from restraint and patience. “Betrayal” – the first of a trio of new pieces on this collection – goes a notch darker, teasing out layers of listing soundforms across a sprawling drone, each one a ship’s light passing and disappearing into the distance.

When discussing the original quartet of themes on B⁴, zakè notes an ongoing feeling of “unfinished business”, and of having left them “in a kind of purgatory state”, which kept pulling him back to the studio. The revised iteration of “Burnt” is the sound of a roiling sky, opening up as a murmuration spills across the panorama. The warp and weft of its carefully developed structure make it a standout not only of this album, but of the broader genre of organic, tonal ambient music that zakè fosters through his renowned Past Inside the Present label.

On “Banded”, strata of ice begin to crystallize at the shoreline, moving outward while shafts of light dapple the surface in the distance. Comforting, sub-bass swells appear in full form, imperceptibly pulsing like the slowed hearts of subaquatic life in the midst of a freeze. The album’s most shadowy passage arrives with new pieces “Blight” and “Bane” – the former a bone-chilling wind across the tundra, and the latter a dive through an ice cave into some unforgiving abyss, both illustrating the immense range that defines zakè’s vision.

“Barren” is a perfect closer to this suite, its solemn, holy tonality like an ashen cross on the forehead, a mark of grace and humility in the cryptic infinite. As its final chords fade, B⁴+3 offers only an ambiguous sense of resolution. Through pensive processes and a philosophy of open-ended, shapeshifting composition, zakè reminds us that no piece of music is ever truly finished – one only finds a stopping place before summoning the will to carry on deeper into the mist.

- Thomas Meluch, (Benoît Pioulard)

Written, recorded, and produced by zakè
Mixed at Kaleidoscope Tone Studio by zakè
Mastered at Ambient Mountain House by James Bernard
Layout and design by zakè

© 2024 Zakè Drone Recordings
℗ 2024 Past Inside the Present Publishing (BMI)
This is ZD-030

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