Zongamin - Fabric
Zongamin is one of those perfectly crazy individuals that Japan is so good at turning out. A bass player, in essence, but in physical manifestation, he's so much more than that suggests. Live, it's quite gratifying to see that he's actually quite a few people, consisting of Zongamin on bass together with two guitarists, a keyboard player, a drummer and someone playing an electronic 'thing'.
Musically, they're somewhere caught between the bass throb of Primus and the electronic tinkering of Jean Michelle-Jarre. If that sounds quite hideous, please be assured, it’s anything but. What it is, is a sprawling electronic landscape that flits quite happily between raw sounding funk, electronica and the energy, if not the ideology, of punk.
Individual songs are pretty much irrelevant here, as its a pure dance crowd, and they go down extremely well. The nature of the music, being pretty much without conventional structure or form, mimics the almost random nature of the DJ set; a few minutes punk, then a bridge, then pure funk mixed with wild electronica. It's quite a rush, and the one thing that the DJ cannot capture is the essence of a live band which makes Zongamin something of a unique act.
Towards the end of the brief 45-minute set, they're even joined by two live singers. Well, live shouters would be more apt, but it gives Zongamin a bit more legitimacy and prevents the set getting too stale. And that could be a danger; sounding like a live version of a DJ set is a grand thing in a dance club, but it'll be interesting to see how well they capture the mood when they support Electric 6 on their upcoming tour. I suspect they'll be welcomed with open arms.