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Pamela Zero


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Evocative vocal music from eclectic sources, a mix of the somewhat experimental and some Early Music/Renaissance sources

Status:

Most recent release, Living Backwards (2005)

See also:

Pamela Zero's blog

Pamela Zero's Soundcloud page

Comparisons:

Miranda Sex Garden

Covers/own material:

Own and early music sources

General comments:

I had forgotten why I'd bought her music when I put these on my stereo again. At first I was just wondering what I'd seen in them, but quickly I found myself remembering. This music is quite captivating in its strange harmonic (mostly a cappella) vocal weavings. Sometimes purely beautiful, sometimes pushing the experimental edge, sometimes wry and humourous, always individual and charming. Not everyone will love these, but I do. (Neile)

Recommended first album:

Any you can find

Recordings:


Given Time

Release info:

mp3.com in its previous incarnation—circa 2004

Availability:

The old mp3.com

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for those interested in experimental female vocals

Group members:

Pamela Zero—vocals, speech, drums

Comments:

This is an mp3.com album and I don't know if it was released in any other format. It should have been, or at least someone should pick up on this. It has eight tracks. "Ghosts" is an imperative weaving of layers of vocals and speech. "Distance" adds drums and an immediately catchy single vocal line. "Projection" has more high, plaintive vocals and adds plantive pipes. "The Strip Song" has a funky piano and drum line with high, campy vocals. "Columbine" is a madrigal with unaccompanied weaving vocals. "Cosmos" is an amusing song about musing on the stars, again accompanied layers of vocals. "Given Time" uses layered vocals as an orchestra behind the main vocal line. "Leaving" is a series of accumulating unaccompanied vocal harmonies. Overall, a delightful collection of varying songs, focused on vocals. (Neile)

Living Backwards

Release info:

2005—Dischod Aggregate--DA-01

Availability:

Online

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for those interested in experimental female vocals

Group members:

Pamela Zero—vocals

Comments:

Like the tracks on Given Time, the focus is on vocals. "Endless" is a sad, haunting tune that is several layers of sometimes-weaving vocals, used in such a variety of ways that I sometimes wondered if there were instruments in addition to the multiple vocal tracks. "Entrance" starts off with a cry that sounds like a Native American "heya" cry, then layers of it add on. Evocative. "Mercy" is halfway between a madrigal and an experimental song, with little touches of humour. "Physics" mixed the layers of vocals with percussive vocals, talking, and madrigal-like vocal entwinings. "The Yearning" is humorous, with dramatic sighing, breathing, sobbing, and moaning as part of the background to the many layers of vocals serving the main melody. Eerie, affective, gorgeous. (Neile)

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2016-08-23 19:03:21.
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