Sonic Reducer: Zoltan And The Fortune Tellers, Self Neglect

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Dear listener: how far do you want to wander from the hipster-loaded, hesher-dominant flying saucer hovering over Albuquerque’s music scene? You know, the one that emits a steady stream of music guaranteed to get you to go Downtown and spend your feria on what you’ve probably heard a million times before. I know you go for the flava, for the peeps—but forget about those wondrous attractions for the moment. If you truly wanna be like Will Robinson, wandering from the Jupiter Two in search of adventure and enlightenment, then here’s the record for you. Zoltan Székely’s latest effort with his trio, the Fortune Tellers, is about as far from Earth (and Albuquerque) as one might expect from this Transylvanian transplant and his intense, otherworldly sense of musicality. By turns fascinating, dance-inducing, thought-provoking and just plain fun to listen to, this album includes classics like “Dreaming of Lemurs,” “Nude Anthem” and the epic closer, “Tonight we dance.” Székely has made a career of taking Eastern European conceits to their height and then drowning them in intelligent whimsy and intricately uncommon phrasing; with this release he is at the height of his mystic powers. Of course, the “Lost in Space” analogy works wonders here, again: Find this album or die trying.

Self Neglect Justice v. Justification (Empty House Studio)

The angry crunch of guitars and saturnine slamming of cymbals at the beginning of this album presages a sort of relentlessness and restlessness that shapes a record convinced of its own alienation from any number of communities, musical and personal. Yet, despite this inherent wickedness, listeners are presented with a workable model of what it means to be punk. Hint: it has nothing to do with the way one dresses and ultimately absolutely nothing to do with what shows one goes to or, heaven forbid, what one listens to. “Bad by Michael Jackson” implores all to “get the fuck away from me,” while the follow up, “Essays in Idleness,” propels those who are game into the maelstrom of experience that ultimately shapes the output of real punk rock. “Party ‘Til You’re Homeless” lumbers and tumbles through this same miasma, inviting participants to join the party that becomes the fray that becomes the end. Or something like that. The end really does come—after 12 brain-stunning tracks—on “Wreck” a slice of antipathy that promises “destruction without end” but fortunately leaves the door open for more kickass tuneage from a band whose members favor names like Mr. Mayor, Magic Matt, Cam and Leon. It’s good work if you can find it, as they say.

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