unfortunately the vast majority of performace reviews in my possession are in hardcopy format
so these will slowly but surely appear in either scanned or transcribed form
performance at the 40th birthday event for the Kitchen april 11 2010 nyc
review and video clips
Z’EV conceptual percussionist
Bang! Bang! Silver objects came down like hammers upon Maxwell’s stage as Z’EV, percussionist extraordinaire, performed his usual heavy metal compositions at the Hoboken club. Z’EV took Bill Haley’s “Shake Rattle & Roll” literally as he played his homemade instruments by rolling them across the floor, rattling them together and shaking them up and down. Z’EV proved to be a sensitive and skilled master of his instruments, creating complex rhythms and varied timbres, building to exciting climaxes and demonstrating that there is more to baking pans, used plastic containers and old metal than previously thought possible.
Z’EV is a pioneer not only in music, but in ecology as well.
Bea Flatte writing in The Aquarian (Tri-State Area) – 11/28/79
performance dec 1979
As Z’EV completed a recent performance at the 38 Thayer St. loft an enthusiastic person from the audience shouted
“More noise!”. “Make it yourself”, Z’EV casually responded. Z’EV draws a variety of reactions from the crowd.
Some stand motionless, absorbing the sights and sounds as if in some form of meditation. Others rocked with the rhythms and shouted cheers of encouragement and wisecracks. The mood was festive and mystical combined. Regardless of your interest in ‘tin can’ music, Z’EV has to be admired for his inventiveness in creating a primitive ceremony from scraps of a modern society. Without the need for conventional musical instruments, without electricity, without modern music theory, Z’EV is still making music.
What would you do if the power went out?
Mr. B – writing in Boston Rock – 8/80
PERFORMANCE APRIL 2007 MINNEAPOLIS
It took the Z’EV/Shikara tour rolling into town to drag me out of the house and into a church on this overcast, sluggish Sunday.
I’m certainly thankful that I didn’t miss this show since it’s easily the best thing I’ve seen so far this year.
The show was hosted at a former house of worship that has been converted into multiple residences, with a sanctuary that occasionally serves as an informal performance space. Surrounded by stained glass windows, an uprooted tree, and walls adorned with all types of art, the space was both intimate and memorable.
The sanctuary’s acoustics particularly suited Z’EV’s music.
He arranged his instruments directly under the apex of the dome, placing the resonating frequencies of his material in the best possible context.
I had seen him previously at Brainwaves, and here his set-up was largely the same, a sheet of steel and a steel box suspended at the sides,
a large drum at the back, and two titanium pipes propped in front.
Z’EV came out blazing from the onset, attacking the titanium pipes with a ferocious, mind-boggling precision. His shifting rhythms were incredibly complex, producing overtones that were almost melodic as they built to a fiery crescendo. He abruptly shifted to the hanging sheet, eliciting groans from the metal and filling the sanctuary with what could have been transmigratory transmissions or foghorn warnings from the ether.
Vast overtones gave voice to the metal, hovering and babbling overhead. Then Z’EV turned to his steel box without a pause, rattling nervous shimmers from it that eventually erupted into a hollow yet all-encompassing roar. He next focused on the drum at the back, rubbing its skin to draw forth stressed moans of reverberating tones before hitting it with huge rattles that sounded like sifting sand through a pulse that became polyrhythmic, almost sounding too complex to be performed live by one person. When he went back to the hanging sheet, with a staccato pattern he created a texture that sounded implausible coming from an acoustic instrument. Toward the end of this piece, the music wavered between the delicate and the exorcistic.
At the end of the show, at the audience’s behest, Z’EV gave us something he said we can one day tell our grandkids about
because he never does it: an encore.
For this, he brought out the base of a patio table and leaned it perpendicularly against the drum so as to elicit a secondary rhythm
as well as to amplify the sounds of the new instrument.
There was absolutely no downtime in Z’EV’s set, no obvious moments for applause or banter.
Instead, he ensnared the audience from the beginning with his hypnotic exegesis of the language of metal,
teaching us all a new vocabulary in the process. His performance was absolutely mesmeric.
Matthew Amundsen wrting at brainwashed.com 28 April 2007
performance at sotto voce london october 8 2010
While taking my time, I report of the last Saturday’s performance. Z’EV’s acoustic set don’t suffer in avoiding any electronic processing. His work as a performer began in 1969, since then Z’EV is responsible for being a pioneer of the so-called Industrial movement in the US, and his artistic development involved performance art, a deep and constant study of modal-wave patterns emerging from vibrating surfaces – led him to the concept of cine-cussion, very approximately translitterated in kinetic percussions, to audio/visual poems, to sonic events related to the Indian mandalas, to the study of permutation and computer generation of phrases, making of him one of the most interesting and accomplished composers of the history of American avant-garde music.
Gian Paolo Galasi writing at londonresonance.blogspot.co.uk