I have to admit that Zofff were a new band for me when they appeared in the first announcement for bands at this year’s Liverpool PsychFest. Then, very shortly afterwards, I heard from Drone Rock Records that the next release was going to be from the self same band. At this point I got more than excited since I knew that this was likely to be something special. I wasn’t wrong.
I few introductions first though Zofff are from Brighton, UK and are:
Chris Anderson ~ Bass, Organ
Bic Hayes ~ Guitar
Al Strachan ~ Synth, Electronics, Trumpet
Damo Waters ~ Drums
Richard Gorbutt ~ Modular Synth
Zofff seem to have a philosophy of experimentation and playing in the moment. This certainly comes through in this forty minute plus live set from last year’s Kozfest. Experimentation can sometime mean lack of accessibility but this is not the case with Zofff. You are drawn into the music, and the next hook is never far away. This is music that is continually on the move, and I expect that no two performances are the same.
More than this I think that Zofff are genre-defying. Yes the tracks are strung-out like space rock; but this isn’t space rock. Yes the band takes you on a sonic inner journey but it isn’t psychedelia as you have known it before. This feels fresh and this feels exactly as Zofff intend, out of time and in that moment. Yes this is experimental, but not in a way that is wilfully and deliberately abstract. Sure the band are going to be influenced by what they hear from elsewhere, but that is refracted through a prism that allows this to coalesce into something else altogether on the other side. In one sense this music could also be classed as electronica (I’m reaching for these descriptions to try and paint a picture) given the emphasis on that sort of sound in places, but (and this is one of the reasons I really like it) just when you think you’ve got a handle on it the sound moves somewhere else. Listen and make up your own mind.
After hearing this recording I am really looking forward to hearing Zofff live in Liverpool later this year, and wish I could see them play with Damo Suzuki in Brighton in May (hope someone is recording that!) because that could be very special indeed. In the meantime I’ll have to make do with this excellent, and very well recorded, capture of a moment in time. A moment when Zofff totally nailed it, wish I’d been there.
Zofff- Kozfest MMXVI is going to be a total pressing of 300 records with 60 of these going direct to the band. The record will be pressed with a colour-in-colour effect, a black “blob” on brilliant white vinyl. Check out Drone Rock Records for availability.
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