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Seasurfer – Zombies

Seasurfer – Zombies

For the better part of a decade Germanys’ Seasurfer has been making reverb-laden dreampop. Essentially the brainchild of HYPERIUM alumni Dirk Knight, Seasurfer is a love of layered, fuzzy noise pop. Knight has also collaborated with acts of the calibre of Trespassers William, Whimsical and Robin Guthrie. Zombies is Seasurfers third album.

Now augmented by the breathy vocals of Apolonia the latest record has a darker electronic vibe. One can distinctly hear the influences of the post-punk and coldwave scenes. ‘SOS’ kicks off proceedings, and orgasmic cry giving way to wailing wall of guitar sound and an appropriately neo noir dreamscape. ‘Too Wild’, the next offering, begins like a blissed out Curve, but ends jauntier with Gallup-like bass. The title track has an early 4AD vibe to it, which is also in evidence later in the album. (‘Drifting’ has a sculptured elegance not unlike Xmal Deutschland). I’m back in the eighties.

Some say I never left.

This is a strong, solid record. Yet there’s a case to be made that Zombies could be considered overgenerous. At sixteen tracks and clocking in over one hour long it isn’t easy to get your teeth into. Despite this, Zombies can be consumed in one sitting. Its sheer consistency of quality makes skipping difficult. The fusion of styles certainly works. At one moment we’re in the hands of a hitherto unknown gothic siren, some unearthed gem from the 1983 vaults. At others its pulsating, whiplash electro pop – Ladytrons’ little sister, moodier, sexier….dangerous.

It feels to me as though Zombies has always existed. I could imagine playing this in its entirety as post-show music. Picture yourself at a concert when the band has finished its encore. The lights come back up thereby extinguishing any faint hope you held of getting “more” and instead this cool music kicks in. The show is over but the afterparty is only just beginning. You weren’t even planning to stay but these dark grooves have already got their hook into you. As you look across the room the cutest, loneliest, most beguiling person in it is looking right back at you. That’s this record.

Zombies is out now on Reptile Music. The CD edition comes with a second disc, the 8 track Dreampop Days mini album. Here Seasurfer has teamed up with Elena Alice Fossi of Italian act Kirlian Camera. Two tracks were remixed by the legendary John Fryer whose production credits include Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and Cocteau Twins. Fryer of course was instrumental to This Mortal Coil. I think both guest singers would have complemented the 4AD project, Apolonia the obscured ‘ethereal’ one and Fossi in the more soulful, Filigree and Shadow role.

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