Zhaoze (The Swamp) - Intoxicatingly Lost / Yesternight, Yes Tonight. 2015 China
CD issue: 2016 Trail Records (USA) as Intoxicatingly Lost
I said it before within the review of a Trail Records sampler, and I will say it again: You can be rest assured the next big wave for fans of progressive rock, and for new artists, will come from China. Is it imminent? Probably not, but it’s coming just as other populous nations like Japan, South Korea, and Russia did before them. Zhaoze is more commonly known as The Swamp, and have been releasing albums (in obscurity it appears) since 2001. Intoxicatingly Lost is basically a reissue of their last album Yesternight, Yes Tonight (2015) and filled out with tracks culled from earlier works. This is, as the label designates, their first official "Western" release. Trail Records continues to release some of the most interesting albums from around the world, and are to be commended for such. Musically, Intoxicatingly Lost is really more in the post rock category. Long instrumental pieces that are built on atmospheric passages, taking the late 70s Pink Floyd ethos into Tortoise and Godspeed You Black Emperor! realms – all with indigenous instruments mixed in (primarily the guqin) with the usual rock setup. I also found the rare use of flute as highly effective in this setting. The final title track gives us a glimpse into Zhaoze leaning in the space rock direction, and is the highlight. From a government regime/controversy standpoint, the album is about as subversive as a glass of milk. And the fact the band didn’t ignore their own native sounds, it seems the album will appeal to many worldwide as well as closer to home. At least of those who know of its very existence, that is to say.