Mark Zoom is a United Kingdom transplant who now resides in Jacksonville, Florida. He has released two EP’s so far the first being Mk.Zoom EP. This EP is self-produced and is quite frankly as far as aesthetics goes one of the most impressive I have heard. Using minimal gear Zoom establishes a recording quality that easily rivals most professional studios. When you look at his background which includes remixes for artists such as The Fallout Trust and Maximo Park it starts to make sense. Suffice it to say Zoom could easily work as a producer with plenty of artists.
Musically, Zoom covers a lot of ground all from genres that are connected at the hip. He melds elements of shoegaze, post-punk, ambient and rock. Mk.Zoom EP revolves around atmosphere and lead parts provided by synths while also building a concrete foundation with hard-hitting drums. I was reminded of bands like Joy Division, War on Drugs, David Bowie and even m83.
The EP starts with “Two Stars.” Synths pulsate, pan and take advantage of your speakers’ stereo width. Zoom’s vocals sound great against the textures which get a little more grainy as the song progresses. The drums are heavy and come to a close. For a second you might think you are listening to Depeche Mode because of the inflection in his voice.
The beginning of “Hold On” is downright gorgeous. It sounds heavenly and ethereal and a sustained synth combines with what sounds like an angelic female voice. I would have been happy with that for a couple of minutes. A very Joy Division-esque vibe enters into the song when the drums enter but abandons it almost as quickly as it's introduced. The vocals are catchy and the song hits its peak with a clash of styles between shoegaze and synth pop around the 3:30 mark.
“I Decide” is a short instrumental track that transitions into another great tune.”The Sunset Blood” felt like the single of the four songs. The hook is memorable and the synth bass rides the coats of popular dance punk acts like The Rapture and LCD Soundsystem. Of course if the song was a single the radio heads would probably cut out the last two minutes or so which contains waves of white noise and feedback that I enjoyed.
Mk.Zoom EP is a great EP. Zoom’s music in all probability will not see commercial success but will certainly be enjoyed by those who can appreciate genres on the fringe such as shoegaze and post-punk.
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