Zopp is a Progressive Rock project born in Nottingham, UK and is made up by multi-instrumentalist Ryan Stevenson and drummer/percussionist Andrea Moneta. Their self-titled debut album to be released April 10, 2020 via Bad Elephant Music sees the collaboration of four other musicians as guests. The album is made by 9 tracks of fine workmanship that highlight the compositional and executive qualities of the musicians. The opening track “Swedish Love” is an introduction with layers of keyboards and a 1:32 minute voice that immerses us in the album’s atmospheres. “Before the Light” begins with a strong and powerful rhythmic section on which you draw an elaborate melody of keyboards. Keyboards that are the main component of the sound, the 70’s Jazz Prog atmospheres are cleverly mixed with modern sounds. So intricate melodies are never drawn on an elaborate structure, never banal with the intensity that increases with the passage of the piece. “Eternal Return” begins with a calmer and darker atmosphere, with sophisticated melodies and continuous tempo changes. The innumerable keyboards played by Stevenson insert different ideas with the passage of the song, developing with the main quality together. “Sanger” and its initial melodies soft and involving organ and piano that soften the tones, and with the entry of the other instruments a softer but more intricate piece comes to life. More pinstriped than Rock with the keyboards master of the scene and excellent inserts of electric and acoustic guitar in the second part. “Sellanrå” is characterized by a long atmospheric passage with the chirping of birds is the organ, to then leave space for parking on the floor Point with slight guitar inserts and Piano notes closes, a calmer moment for the album’s Prog power. “V” begins with excellent phrasing between organ and synth Piano contracts in the background point the keyboards that interchange in the solo guide us in this pleasant evolution of the main theme halfway between Fusion and 70s Prog. Rapid accelerated in the second part increase also the sound power for one of the best songs of the album. “Being and Time” with electric guitar in the whole which then develops into a darker song with the organ acting as a counterpart to the guitar. In the central part it increases the intensity and emotional charge of the song, and then slow down in the finale with the synth taking the scene. “Zero” is a fast track with the Piano organ masters the scene, with steep notes hikes. With the input of the guitar and the synth for accelerated powerful two ounces, one of the most complex and pleasant damages of the disc develops. “The Noble Shirker” which begins with a minute of intro with organ and synth and then explodes with a positive, almost liberating melody. The hints to the 70s are more pronounced, with the sax taking the sound to another level, inserting at best among the excellent keyboards. At the end a sax solo and the disc closes with a slight organ outro. An album that denotes both compositional and executive skills, where despite there is almost no voice, the chorus is privileged with respect to virtuosity in themselves the sound is complete and mature and best mixes the 70s Jazz Prog influences with a modern and refined touch. An album to listen and listen to as it is full of ideas, fresh and with a high technical-quality content.
1. Swedish Love
2. Before The Light
3. Eternal Return
7. Being And Time
9. The Noble Shirker
Ryan Stevenson / Keyboards, Mellotron M4000D, Hammond organ, Arturia
analogue synthesizer, Korg CX-3 organ, piano, Hohner Pianet T, Nord Electro 5d, bass and electric guitars, voice, field recordings, percussion.
Andrea Moneta / Drums and percussion.
Andy Tillison / Additional piano (6), additional Hammond organ (3), Leslie
processing (2, 5, 6), synth (4), effects (3, 9).
Theo Travis / Flute (6).
Caroline Joy Clarke / Voice (1, 7, 8).
Mike Benson / Tenor saxophone (9).