(The Stumbling Block)
Trip Hop , Jazz, Experimental
Bonobo, The Soft Machine
Zukanican are a unique quartet from the UK, in their third release, The Stumbling Block, they manage to infuse many genres into this one. From soft trip hop sounds to jazzy arrangements with a slight hint of krautrock added in. There is an improve feeling about the music, it can take you anywhere; from transient jams to rhythms that change on a dime to experimental jazz. With various instruments at work; such as the flugelhorn and trumpet that provide the jazz elements. The soft, spaced-out synths give us the trip hop feel and the deep bass and percussion is the glue that holds all of this together.
The first track "Sealing Wax" gives off a U2 Pop or Zooropa feeling; it’s a very rhythmic, laid back track. The synths sound great when cranked to 10 and the tribal beats in the background is a unique touch. "Inca Hoots" has a more experimental quality, some of our editors found it a bit unnerving and some liked the odd arrangements, so, we’ll just leave it at that. That’s the beauty of bands like these; they have an appeal for just about anyone. "Koanish" is one of the standout tracks, the cymbals and stick tapping are infectious and the clapping towards the end just adds more flavor. The album presses on with more of these experimental sounds with "Penny Dance Test", "All The Saints are Sinners" and "Pygmy Hop". They are exploratory with abstract compositions, making them hard to pin down and classify the band. And last, but not least, we all agree that the last track "Tell It To The Kif," offers up some incredible bass work that will probably have you playing air bass.
Zukanican are a unique band that crosses into the trip hop/jazz world. The Stumbling Rock will hold your interest and intrigued minds who want more will branch out to seek more within this genre. - 2/26/2014
Since videos are hard to come by, the sample below is not the best representation of the band.
Standout Tracks: Sealed Wax, Koanish