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ZOOLOOK – Pauze Radio with Mr Topple review Stonefrenge: Black in Space

ZOOLOOK | Pauze Radio with Mr Topple review STONEFRENGE: Black in Space

ZOOLOOK – Pauze Radio with Mr Topple review STONEFRENGE: Black in Space

ZOOLOOK’s debut album shows this timeless and eclectic artist at his very best.

Multidisciplinary artist and musician ZOOLOOK is certainly not one to box himself in. After the success of his previous project the graphic novel series Dread & Alive (and its musical accompaniment), he then released his debut album; once again, breaking barriers.

Stonefrenge: Black in Space is much more than just an album. ZOOLOOK has combined a musical Dub project with unique artwork and individual animated visuals to create a veritable Space Opera – as well as an excellent accompanying short film on YouTube:

Stonefrenge: The Fourth Kind

So, where to begin with Stonefrenge: Black in Space? Well, the album is a sumptuous fusion of styles and genres.

From Soul Rebel’s efficient merging of Reggae, Dub, and Trip Hop to the title tracks bringing in of something more choral at points while honing in on the Reggae – the album has something for everyone.

Lo-Fi IRIE Feeling is perfect late Gen Z vibes, while Natural High has something of the Revival Reggae about it.

Black in Space feels like it could be the accompanying Synthwave track to an 80s sci-fi blockbuster – and We Come in Peace (And Love) then takes Trip Hop to the stratosphere.

The haunting Lost in Space is one of two vocal-led tracks – but one that refuses to be boxed into any genre; HAL-LE delivers some quite brilliant Electronica, while the vocal-led Rockers concludes the project by taking the album back to its Reggae/Dub roots – but with some serious twists:

“My goodness. You certainly cannot say that ZOOLOOK does things by halves. Not only has this multi-talented artist created an album filled with his signature fusing of genres and styles, coupled with evocative arrangements and top-notch engineering, but ZOOLOOK then tops it off with some brilliant graphic art and visuals to boot. If ZOOLOOK was planning on conquering the world of the arts – then he’s well on his way to doing it. Sublime” – Mr Topple, Pauzeradio

Undoubtedly, the compositions, performances, and production across Stonefrenge: Black in Space are of top quality. ZOOLOOK’s choice of instrumentation is inspired – from the use of classic Reggae live instrumentation to some throwback synths and even instruments more at home in World Music – the album has it all. Little wonder, really – because as ZOOLOOK said:

“My music is a contagious mix of multiple genres that push the boundaries of their limits. Every note I play reveals my devotion to the musical medium. In producing my sound, I always draw inspiration from Roots Reggae and the experimental characteristics of Dub. Most people would categorise me in the Downtempo or Chill genre. For me, it’s just ZOOLOOK music, and it can feature Funk, Lo-Fi, Dub, Reggae, RnB, Hip-Hop, EDM, and more.

“There have been so many artists who have influenced my musical journey as a multidisciplinary artist and musician. I grew up listening to my dad’s record collection, which included all the Motown artists. Chic and the Bee Gees influenced me, particularly the bass players Bernard Edwards (Chic) and Maurice Gibbs (Bee Gees). In creating my music, I always start with a bassline”.

Indeed – the bassline is a notable feature across Stonefrenge: Black in Space. However, what also stands out is the engineering, mixing, and mastering. All these three elements are pitch perfect. It is quite difficult to take an album of completely eclectic material and create a finished sound that has a running theme – but Stonefrenge: Black in Space achieves that.

But what the project also achieves is paying homage to the Space Opera genre perfectly. Its compositions lend themselves perfectly to the dramatic, good-versus-evil romanticism of the style – even nodding to the genre’s heyday in the late 70s and 80s with its distinctly Synthwave vibes that ZOOLOOK has laced across it.

He said of the project:

“Music gives my life meaning. Whatever I am working on, whether writing a story, sketching panels for a comic book, animating a scene for a music video, or just shooting a scene for a film project, music is in my ears or my head. It fuels my imagination.

“I was the kid in school who doodled with a No. 2 pencil on the wooden desk. My head was always in the clouds, pretending to be some hero, and a theme song was always playing in the background.

“So, I’ve been applying my music and art skills to world-building all my life, creating my interpretation of an irie world.

“With Stonefrenge: Black in Space, I want to show and share my vision of this world and universe, where I blend my love for art, comics, film, and music and offer an immersive experience for everyone to enjoy”.

Just to finish the project off, ZOOLOOK has created nine individual artworks for each track.

Stonefrenge: Black in Space is, in short, nothing less than remarkable. ZOOLOOK has paid tribute to an overall genre – Space Opera – while also being faithful to its musical counterparts, and his own passions, in the process. The sheer creativity of it should win him plaudits – and for his fans, it is infinitely immersible.

All tracks written and produced by ZOOLOOK. All tracks mixed and mastered by Dubmatix, except Lost in Space, HAL-LE, and Rockers mixed and mastered by ZOOLOOK.

Stonefrenge: Black in Space track listing:

1.Soul Rebel
3.Lo-Fi IRIE Feeling
4.Natural High
5.Black in Space
6.We Come in Peace (And Love)
7.Lost in Space

“A massive shout out to DJ Pauze, Mr Topple, and Pauze Radio for the amazing support and for everything you do for Reggae Music! RASpect! – ZOOLOOK

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