ZYX – Trust No Woman (Dark Entries, May 2016)

Dark Entries seems to have developed a bent for a more investigated, stylistically and intellectually varied and variegated slice of the archive. Cynics might say this is because the reissue river is drying up, but I assure you it isn’t. Between the rarefied smooth pop of Philippe Chany and the strummy, haunted sensuality of the Deux Filles record, May has been an exploratory month for Josh Cheon’s label, and if your taste is pitched on the noir side of things then the cream was in ZYX’s Trust No Woman.

Amongst the less frequented occurrances of the Austrian canon, Inge Graf and Walter Eberl’s first efforts date from 1977 in Vienna, where the duo began to experiment with a total work of art formula under the names of GRAF+ZYX. As the name might give away, ZYK is a neo-dadaist practice, fusing forms, sounds, images, and a multitude of electronic apparata with their relative electronic dreams. New generation listeners might have come into contact with the Vinyl on Demand reissue of their earlier material in 2007, but Trust No Woman is a rounded, more album-shaped proposition. A clear aesthetic line binds the chapters of this 1981 off-Welle LP, which fuses an angular take on NDW with a kind of No Wave sensibility. Maybe it’s the Dadaist principles, maybe it’s the duo’s interest in developing a wider aesthetic language, but there’s something like a New Yorkish punk-infused bluesiness embedded in the classic dark European synth of this record. Cinematic, glamorous as hell, bleakly danceable and full of surprises.