Zombie Zombie - A Land For Renegades
Anyone asked to envisage what a collaboration between the drummer from French anti-folk collective Herman Dune and a free jazz saxophonist might sound like would be hard pushed to imagine this. A sort-of concept album, the record follows the story of two fugitives who encounter all sorts of terrifying apparitions in the course of a night on the run, which according to the press release includes a meeting with the ghosts of Iggy Pop and David Bowie (both off whom are still alive, obviously) - hence the bizarre take on The Stooges vocalist's solo hit Nightclubbing towards the end of the LP. The pair's list of influences comprise a who's who of boundary-pushing luminaries including Suicide and Goblin (the band who scored George Romero's Dawn of the Dead), and the sparse, uncompromising feel of those bands is present in spades, with unrelenting drum patterns and spartan electronic waves and buzzes working beautifully in tandem to ramp up the tension.
Anyone with a soft spot for the soundtracks of John Carpenter, in particular his seminal work on the superb Assault On Precinct 13, will eat this up. The mixture of Etienne Jaumet's impressive collection of primitive synths and wealth of atmospheric samples create a feeling of creeping paranoia, while Neman's drumming is unreal, so restrained yet unrelenting you'd swear the beats must be the work of a computer programme - either that or a member of the infamously tireless undead. Of course, the only problem with this album is working out when the hell you'd be likely to put it on - it's probably not the best listening for a midnight drive and certainly far from ideal to drift off to sleep to. But when the mood strikes for a horror-inspired weird-out workout there are probably no finer option out there.