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Thread: Zolo Music

  1. #1

    Zolo Music

    Anybody here familiar with Zolo music (as a genre)? It seems to be a genre tag that's been applied to the likes of Rascal Reporters, Devo, XTC, Zappa, Sparks and so on, and refers to that crossover between new wave and progressive music, and is on the 'quirky' side. I like the idea behind it, it really is a style I think that is a bit separate from both standard new wave and prog music.

    Found it when I was notified that some Rascal Reporters tunes had been featured on this Spotify editorial 'The Sound of Zolo' playlist:
    https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1H...QhCCjR214AgbDw

  2. #2
    Member Phlakaton's Avatar
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    Sounds like some made-up thing from the last decade... dunno. Personally I just ignore it all - but I guess if you're marketing or selling these things it might have to be relevant. shrug...

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    A guy called Zaragon, who occasionally posts here, invented that category; I met him once, under the name of Terry Sharkie (he's used various names). The term has nothing to do with sales. He has a whole eccentric, non-standard, but interesting musical classification system; he's one of those guys who even if you completely disagree with, you have to admit he's got a point.

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    Here's a mix that was posted years ago on YouTube that should give some idea of the sound and style.

  5. #5
    Yes I remember reading Terry Sharkie's page back in the late 90's -I happened upon it when I was searching for something on an obscure Franch band - Look de Bouk if I remember, and their name came up in his list along with several other bands I liked, so I read on and it made me listen to a few other bands I knew by name but have never really listened to. There was never a Zolo scene or any company pushing it, it was just Terry's identification of a group of entirley unrelated bands that has this springy boingy fidgety sort of sound , as having something in common. This led me to explore the back catalogues of Gentle Giant and Stump at the same time and I still love both, so thank you Terry.

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    There should be a three-day Zolo festival every year. Seems like a bogus - or at least unnecessary - classification to me.
    I do remember Zaragon's posts, and how I'd sometimes have to as him what the hell he meant by certain terms, which usually turned out to be terms that only he knew of. I'm sure that was interesting for him to do (wasn't it all color coded too?), but I doubt it was that great for communication with others who hadn't studied his language.

    But of course, I don't really accept the term Post-Rock either.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    There should be a three-day Zolo festival every year. Seems like a bogus - or at least unnecessary - classification to me.
    I do remember Zaragon's posts, and how I'd sometimes have to as him what the hell he meant by certain terms, which usually turned out to be terms that only he knew of. I'm sure that was interesting for him to do (wasn't it all color coded too?), but I doubt it was that great for communication with others who hadn't studied his language.
    He’s definitely an eccentric. He reminds me a little of that Dutch woman who insisted on living in her own personal 1950s-retro world, including living in a house with unsafe, not-to-code electricity. I think he might have a touch of synasthesia, which might be why he’s having a hard time communicating his thoughts.

    But of course, I don't really accept the term Post-Rock either.
    Better that than “freakbeat,” which is definitely a marketing term.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    He’s definitely an eccentric. He reminds me a little of that Dutch woman who insisted on living in her own personal 1950s-retro world, including living in a house with unsafe, not-to-code electricity.
    Also, if you have ideas that cut across the grain and go sideways to conventional thinking, you wind up needing to create your own terminology because standard terms for your concepts don't exist.

    I ran into that myself. A number of years ago, I devised a sort of alternate music theory, which involved grouping chords and keys associated with those chords in an unusual way. And I could not find correct, commonly-used terms for the way in which I did this, and the resulting musical entities. I wound up reluctantly creating my own, reluctantly because one sign of an intellectual crank is bizarre, self-made terminology. Yet, for example, there was one whole set of scales that had no common name at all, in spite of them all being just different modes of the same sequence of notes. Apparently none of those modes get used enough in classical music to need calling anything, so the whole set of 84 scales (12 keys x 7 possible modes per key) has no name.

    Anyway, his arguments on minimalism vs. maximalism seem to require a number of unconventional terms to assert the value and worthiness of maximal music.

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    I think he might have a touch of synasthesia, which might be why he’s having a hard time communicating his thoughts.
    That's an interesting thought. Terry also dressed eccentrically - he made his own clothes, which looked rather like the stage costumes worn by Split Enz on the covers of their first two or three albums. And, in print, he made something of a point about the importance and value of dressing in an interesting manner. I just figured that's who he was. But those outfits did look like his favorite kind of music sounds.
    Last edited by Baribrotzer; 1 Week Ago at 01:40 PM.

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    Though he doesn't seem to talk about it much these days, he mentions zolo in one of his recent videos without indicating his responsibility for the term. He cites the xylophone solo in this song as one of the first clear-cut examples of the style:

  10. #10
    I remember about ten years ago our college radio station (UT Austin) KVRX had an evening show dedicated to "ZOLO" music. Lots of off-kilter prog and electronic stuff, familiar to most of us here...

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