BEGUILING SECOND ALBUM OF SYNTH MINIMALISM HIBISCUS INCOMING ON ROCKET RECORDINGS ON 21ST AUGUST
“Four Women And Darkness” is the new J. Zunz single appearing on the forthcoming second album, Hibiscus (Rocket Recordings, 21st August). The following video was first screened over the weekend as part of Sofasonic Festival, as J. Zunz was set to play Supersonic this year as part of the label’s showcase.
About the video Lorena Quintanilla comments, “‘Four Women And Darkness’ is a story from my grandmother’s childhood. She told me that once during wartime in México in the late 1920’s, she and her sisters were hidden by her grandmother in a little, cold secret room. She hid them there because the militia wanted to search the house. Soldiers used to look for women or girls to rape them or to kidnap them. My grandmother and her sisters stayed there in the dark room for hours until the soldiers left.” She continues…”I asked four close friends of mine to express their own darkness. They all come from different cities and backgrounds. I instructed them with some movements remarking and reassuring the limits of our bodies, which for years have belonged to everyone but us.”
J. Zunz is the solo reinvention of Lorena Quintanilla – better known up until this point as one half of Mexican duo ‘Lorelle Meets The Obsolete.’ Hibiscus marks a move on sonically from earlier comfort zones in Lorena’s work (check, Silente from 2017) into minimal electronics, hypnotic repetition and compelling trance states, arriving at a soundworld in which cyclical synth patterns, eerie ambient textures and cathartic vocal exhortations coalesce into a beguiling atmosphere of otherworldly intensity. Although some might hear echoes amongst these songs of the like of Angelo Badalementi’s ghostly raptures, the bleak epiphanies of Nico’s Marble Index or Fifty Foot Hose’s spare sci-fi psychedelia, both the approach and the resulting tapestry here are Lorena’s and hers alone.
The initial vision for the J. Zunz project was for Lorena to strip her approach down to the basics – “I remember I was reading a biography of John Cage and that book detonated something in me. The author was referring to the influence of Buddhism and meditation, and modern artists like Sonia Delaunay, Lucio Fontana, Julio Le Parc, Duchamp, futurism. I was very charged with ideas.”
Hibiscus more than anything else is a process of alchemy – turning a less-is-more approach into a formidable psychic assault, and undergoing an artistic transmutation that renders compelling and uplifting work from trying times. “I didn’t want these songs to sound vulnerable.” Lorena reflects. ”I wanted the songs to be everything I wasn’t at that moment: strong and fearless.”
1. Y (official video)
2. FOUR WOMEN & DARKNESS (official video)
5. WHITE LABELS
7. AMERICA IS A CONTINENT