‘Underworld’ 2-track single
Release date: 1st March 2011
Most experiences in life are subjective, which is why one man’s ecstasy can be another woman’s agony. Music is no different. The high octane of happy hardcore can resemble fingernails on a blackboard to the uninitiated, while to others, the whine and croon of country music can sound like, well, the whine and croon of country music.
Upon receiving its first music assignment, Edinburgh Uncovered was unsure how to approach this one. We fully support the city’s thriving music scene, and if you dig deep enough, there’s bound to be a band out there to suit your tastes, just as there are bars, restaurants and saunas whose sole raison d’être is to repeatedly hit your spot. Zambian Astronaut are an Edinburgh-based duo whose music and video productions have been making waves within Scotland’s burgeoning hip-hop scene over the past 12 months. Apparently. Their eclectic musical style, often in collaboration with local and international artists, has been described as ‘synth-hop’. We’ve no idea what that means, but we know a good, bad or indifferent song when we hear one, and thankfully their latest effort falls firmly into the former category. Provided you like this sort of music of course, otherwise new single ‘Underworld’ will wash over you with all the impact of a force eight gale hastily downgraded to a mere flutter of a breeze.
On first listen, Zambian Astronaut’s two-track iTunes release is accomplished without inducing aural orgasms of pleasure. The lead song, ‘Underworld’ is a dark, gothic-tinged number with shades of Nick Cave or The Smashing Pumpkins in their more melancholy moments, while ‘Butterflies’ is a synth-laden pop song with a hook-tastic chorus. Listen again though, and it’s hard not to feel a small shiver trace down the spine when the sonorous bass-line of ‘Underworld’ rumbles into action, or to sense strange tingles on the back of the neck 1:45 in, when the ethereal bars of Edinburgh rapper Werd begin to resonate. There’s something good going on in here, and we’re not quite sure what it is but we think we like it.
If other local artists would like to submit material to us for review, they are welcome to do so. If we really don’t like your music, we’ll at least be kind enough to say so before slating it publicly, as we are nothing if not polite and well-mannered.