ZINOVIA: The Gift of Affliction CD Tympanik Audio
After a little over a decade, the fruits of Greece’s Zinovia Arvanitidi have finally bore for us all to consume. Offering a different perspective to the wealth of talent on the scene, it’s nice to see someone not pandering too much to the mass influx of IDM that we have been bombarded with of late.
Like awakening from a long sleep, only to wander outside into the desolate ruins of what once was, is ‘The Blue Shade of Dawn Covered Your Skin’, with it’s evocative piano and soaring pads your only companion. Following on from this, ‘Communicating Vessels’ leans on light Jazz elements with its keystrokes and off kilter beat.
‘Chimera’ follows immediately on from where this left off, only to add further elements as it progresses, such as the harmonic vocals I had been eager to hear and expected earlier on the first two tracks. Given that this was an expectation of mine, this is a clever move to introduce this further into the proceedings, as my initial preconceptions would be that Zinovia’s voice would take precedence over everything before hitting play.
‘The Gift of Affliction’ is a steady, well-conceived album that requires a specific mind-set before pressing play. It’s obligatory that the listener is in a relaxed mood, with their aural requirement being that of needing their senses massaged as opposed to pummelled; and this 9 tracker will then oblige at every level.
For those expecting a varying amount of styles, they will be sorely disappointed. This is by no means a criticism, just that things don’t change much musically throughout the course of the release; but there is still it’s fair share of drama along the way and without straying thematically from the course set, is actually one of this debut’s many strong points.
Compositionally speaking, it’s clear that Arvanitidi is well schooled in music theory and this is also one of her key strengths; that whilst this album may not be everyone’s cup of tea this is clearly aimed at a more adult audience. I would have appreciated more of her vocal talents, but that’s more of a personal preference than a jibe at what has been produced; and given the amount of attention to detail with specific harmonics and general knowledge as to what’s right on the ear deserves kudos in itself.