Zan-zan-zawa-veia have to be one of the most interesting thing i've heard in a while, combining the seemingly incongruous (actually, scratch that – completely incongruous) styles of lo-fi 8-bit/chiptune and progressive rock (oh, and torch songs...) and consequently sounding kind of like if Magma had soundtracked a nightmarish Nintendo game at the end of the 'eighties. But also nothing at all like that.
Right from the lilting waltz of opener "Work Song", Mysa Fyce (still pondering the meaning of that one) is all unpredictable structures, gymnastic time sig changes, and technical lead flourishes that neatly sidestep the fretwanking trap they might garner on a "traditional" prog record by virtue of being completely programmed. It's not only ZZZV's compositional styles that impress, but the command they have of adapting the 8-bit idiom to that style. The full musical colour palette is on show, from rumbling sub-by lows to piercing high trills to full-on drum stomping to the sweet synth opening to "Pink Bows" to ace ornamentals like the tide wash effect on "Hrbr Mstr".
i also like how they seem to have come pre-formed with hints of their own strange mythology, too. On further reflection, the connection between chip music and progressive rock doesn't seem quite as far-fetched when you consider that prog was the music of choice for a lot of the people playing text adventures and programming BASIC from the late seventies on (still doesn't really account for the torch songs, but hey). "Zan-zan-zawa-veia" itself could pass for the name of one of those games, or maybe its hero or the land it was set in. Maybe that's also the reason every track title consists of two four-letter words, the vowels sacrificed for space if needed, reflecting the pre-SMS computing conundrum of how to convey the precise contents of your programming endeavours in a mere eight letter filename.
Anyway, whatever – this record has to be heard to be believed. This is only their/his (Zan-Zan is the sole member, so i suppose "his") debut real-world EP, and from this evidence i think he will end up either singlehandedly creating a whole new style or become one of those artists with a completely unique output that get namedropped by cognoscenti in style mag interviews and largely ignored by everyone else. You should get it (from Glitch City, yep!) before either of those things happen, though.
— Listen to "Work Song"
— Listen to "Pink Bows"