Review: Hati + Z’EV – Collusion

To listen to Collusion is to appreciate that all sound is collaboration – that sound is a moment of miraculous assembly, rousing energy from the collision of physical fibre, and then between vibration and space; between overtone and reflection, between mallet and humidity, between mood and material tension, between an equilibrium of potential and the synaptic impulse that brings action into the state of stillness. The album is a magnification of sound as process, bringing wobbling drum skins, whispering cymbals, quivering shakers and dripping bells into vibrant being; percussion as a gateway to the intimate point of now, and with a production clarity that seems to even highlight the slightest serration on fingernails as they tap a drumskin, I am thrust into a bodily and spiritual connection with these two composers, unified in vibration and in meditation.

The fact that Collusion forbids the air from settling into silence means that Z’EV and Hati are inseparable. While they are eternally acknowledging the soundscape and reacting accordingly, the music does not feel conversational – no space or stylistic distinction exists between the musicians, with ego abandoned in favour of a much more fluid unravelling of unconscious instinct. The instruments feel as though they’ve been arranged in a tight crescent around my head, with the limbs entwining and overlapping with eachother as they stretch to strike or blow each instrument and release its unique vocalisation. In the moment that a new sound leaps out of the frame – say, a jittery rattle of a beater skimming a metal sheet, or a soft plosive remark from a steel pan – it does not matter who is playing what.