Album Review: ZHU’s RHINGO’S DESERT PT. 1

Review by Justin Cameron

ZHU’s career has always been mysterious. He never offers fans a look into his personal life, and instead, gives them exceptional music for the past four years. He’s carved out his niche in the electronic music scene, creating music from an artistic point of view rather than of a musical one. ZHU’s songs all have dark undertones complimented by screaming guitar and sax solos as well as sparse, spacey vocals.

On his latest release, RINGOS DESERT PT.1 (which is part of a larger release RINGOS DESERT), ZHU keeps his successful formula, yet adds a more driving techno flare. The title, RINGOS DESERT, fits the music well as the songs create a sense of moving through a desert; you can almost picture someone embarking on a voyage through the desert while listening.

Highlights of the release include “Guilty Love” and “Desert Woman.” “Guilty Love” is driven by thumping bass and sparse, breathy vocals. The song also features two guitar solos: a scarce one in the bridge, and then a more driving, atmospheric one towards the end. “Desert Woman” starts out with ominous piano and more breathy vocals chanting “desert woman.” This one really gives you the feel of trekking through a desert with a driving bass and melodic Middle Eastern synth ornamentations. The song builds for three minutes before it falls off and goes to more ominous synth lines before a screaming guitar fills in the gaps. The song is six minutes of pure bliss.

ZHU starts his DUNE tour this September with his live band and two and a half tons of sand, so these shows are sure to be something special.