Dropping May 7th, ‘Dialectics’ is an album not limited by genres. R Zak offers thirteen tracks of musical excellence that take the listener on a wild ride through experimentation done well with an undeniable flair for the odd and hypnotic beauty.
Opening with ‘Villanelle’, the ambient indie sound sets off the album perfectly. It is driven with a folk Esq vocal delivery and a heavy, monotonous drumbeat that conjures up imagery of dancing around a campfire. Its warm tone is addictive and highlighted subtly with ebbs of electronic elements that blend with the immense and powerful character cultivated from the word go. It is soundtrack gold and allows for a glimpse of what’s in store. Transitioning into ‘The White Birds’, the listener is met with a simple yet effective electronic track that plays with dream-pop elements without completely succumbing to any one musical type. The two songs offer a refreshing contrast and allow this playing with tone and style to be normalised for later additions.
The albums three lead tracks: ‘Silver Slow Moving’, ‘Les Silhouettes’ and ‘El Lagarto Está Llorando’, earn their titles through their mesmerising presentation and genuinely immersive listening experience, each offering a new take on R Zak’s vision without alienating what has come before and what will follow. ‘Silver Slow Moving’ incorporates the same haunting vocal featured throughout, combining it with a consistent guitar set to a rather bouncy beat. It oozes ethereal energy, maintaining a constant sound that never reaches the fear of becoming repetitive or boring. It invigorates itself with the mentioned vocal performance, which weaves itself around the backing, tainting it with a softness that elevates the instrumental to an accompaniment.
‘Les Silhouettes’ meshes electronic with delectable dream pop elements; gentle vocals sound almost hymn-like whilst synths bubble throughout the instrumental. It maintains its impact without the need for builds, allowing the track’s atmosphere to wash over the audience in a calming manner. Delicate yet powerful, it shines brightly as an album highlight. ‘El Lagarto Está Llorando’ can be described simply as electronic sci-fi pop. It plays around with a contrast between very real vocals and very produced sound, complementing it with a rhythmic backing that keeps everything on track. It effortlessly flows from start to finish, sounding clean yet natural the entire time.
The album closes on ‘Secrets That Are Not’, a profoundly atmospheric track that wouldn’t be out of place in a horror movie. With a fuzzy and faded sound due to the production, it mirrors the first track’s imagery, but this time, the campfire is now smouldering as the dark creeps in. It’s a fitting ending for the album and one that genuinely feels like a story ending, leaving the audience enriched and satisfied.
Overall, ‘Dialectics’ is a listening experience no one should pass up. Provocative in its imagery and powerful in its emotional impact, R Zak has created a soundtrack to liminal space and feelings without names. Make sure to give yourself the absolute pleasure of listening to the entire journey when it drops on May 7th.
Check out R Zak here:
Listen to the latest episode of The Quite Great Radio Show:
Follow Quite Great’s new partnered platform Cambridge Unwrapped: