Difficult? Nah. Weird, though.
Allan MacInnis | Vancouver | 04/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In his liner notes for this disc, at one point, when he was making this sort of music -- relatively EARLY in his recording career -- Zorn confesses that he thought this type of music would be on top 40 radio at some point in the future. He admits to having no idea what he could have been thinking, acknowledging now that this is STRANGE stuff indeed. The title of the project is perfect -- a solitary place, a locus solus. Not many people have occupied musical territory as odd as this, or are likely to want to. All that said, I really have to disagree about the "noise-core" comments of other reviewers. This is definitely weird stuff, but noise it isn't; there are clearly compositional choices being made throughout each piece, and while they often bend, spindle, and mutilate our expectations in a perversely gleeful way, the disc never departs into anything *I* would consider noise (but then, I think GROUND ZERO PLAYS STANDARDS is a pretty accessable pop album, BASICALLY). I forget exactly who Zorn's collaborators are for this one -- Arto Lindsay, I believe, and Peter Blegvad both pop up. I think it's as user-friendly an example of "early, difficult Zorn" as one is likely to find -- much more listenable and fun than the PARACHUTE YEARS stuff, f'rinstance. Oh, and Mr. Bungle fans might note that one piece on this disc is "Disco Volante" -- assumedly where Bungle drew their inspiration from."
Noise core, improv and ... did I mention more noise?
Pearly Sweets | 12/01/1998
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is possibly the most difficult Zorn album to listen to. It's really John Zorn's noise core album which, in actuality, is a prime example of the genre but not for everyone. You really have to have a love for experimental music in order to appreciate this album, otherwise you'll never get it. For most people it sounds like random noise, but I highly suggest this album for the hardcore experimental music fan. I warn you though, this is a tuff one."
Zorn Does No Wave.
Pearly Sweets | Jacksonville, FL | 12/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The years of the recording, the style of the music, and the contributors on these pieces can only lead up to one possible conclusion: Zorn made a No Wave album.In New York in the late 70's and into the early 80's there was a rapid growth out of the punk movement that became much more selective in it's audience due to the extreme discord and cacophony of their creations. This lovable art form, headed by bands such as Suicide and Ikue Mori and Arto Lindsay's (both contributes on this album) band DNA.Zorn picked up on this style during his early phase, which, I basically think is when he was trying to find his path as an artist, and with all of the other bands that were performing this completely erratic style of music, felt that not only would this be a great genre to experiment within, but also, as he mentions in the liner notes "music that would one day be in the Top 40."Sadly, for Zorn and all No Wave bands, the style never caught on and to this day remains a relatively underground form of music. (It is now known mostly as NO(W) Wave, and has moved it's scene from New York to Chicago where many independent labels, such as Skin Graft Records, continue to specialize in the style) and Zorn moved on to much greater heights to eventually find his completely unique voice.This is not one of the best Zorn albums out there, but it is one of the greatest displays of No Wave that has ever been pressed. So Zorn fans might decide to dabble in it, mainly because Zorn fans, even when he is doing something they may not like, can appreciate him doing it. But if you are a No Wave fan, I cannot recommend this album enough."