Zomes is a project by Asa Osborne, guitarist of one of Baltimore’s most legendary punk outfits, Lungfish. While the works of Lungfish provided their own deep spirituality, both Asa and Lungfish’s singer, Daniel Higgs, have taken their ideas of aural mysticism to a whole new realm.
Zomes has provided heavy mediations for turntables, tape decks, and dark rooms alike using repetitive strokes of keys and simple rhythms which emanate in ways that provide its listeners with pure mental isolation. While it’s easy to get lost in, it can create the ideal focal point to help tackle some of life’s more formidable thoughts. Zomes is library music for a cosmic discourse.
Time Was, the forthcoming full length due April 16 on Thrill Jockey Records, marks a few firsts for Zomes. When Asa was performing in Sweden recently he met Hanna Olivegren via his friends The Skull Defekts. Hanna is an amazingly talented vocalist, and ended up improvising with Osborne during his set at the Perspectives Festival. Asa invited Hanna to several other sets, and eventually over to Baltimore to record the new record.
The other major difference in this new Zomes affair is that it’s the project’s first release recorded to tape in a proper studio. Past recording have been wrapped in layers of precious fuzz and tape hiss, but Time Was presents the work in its most exposed form to date. While these are two sizeable changes, this is still very much a Zomes album. Asa’s organ drones have never sounded so beautiful, guiding Hanna’s vocals to float effortlessly alongside. It is the perfect compliment, and opens up a new level of seamless observance.
Time and space are both things we’ve likely taken for granted at some point. In today’s rapid-paced, character-limited world, it’s nice to slow things down and open up a bit every now and then. Many could learn from the pace of Asa’s music, and Time Was is proof that there’s unlimited boundaries for said velocity.