Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a collaboration from of Montreal’s Nina Barnes and Azure Ray’s Orenda Fink, Harouki Zombi
is a mash-up of zombie and geisha that’s equal parts DJ, visual art, and performance art. Original? Absolutely. Surreal? Absolutely.
Almost as intriguingly incomprehensible as the Harouki Zombi concept itself is “Swamp Theme”, off of their newly released Objet Petit A EP. A relentless dance-off that commands “go get your swagger on” and promises “we’ll make your body move,” all while a deeper than deep vocal sample continually namedrops the project, “Swamp Theme” lives up to its bluster thanks to an in-your-face clattering rhythm and heavy sighs that exude not exhaustion but an empowering antagonism.
Harouki Zombi take a touch of the etherealness of Fink’s Azure Ray and sort it for e’s and wizz on “Soldier’s Gun”, a drugged up, irresistible hand-clapper that just might be the most danceable example of re-purposed dream pop around. “Vacated Hunters” is less dramatic of a departure, so much that it could pass as a long-lost of Montreal b-side, but its inherent weirdness still feels at home on Objet Petit A.
The EP’s title track is where Harouki Zombi fully lives up to their potential. Sometimes a danger cannot be resisted despite all the warning signs, and in the case of “Objet Petit A”, it’s the allure of those hushed French intonations that downplay the foreboding synths and kick drums before luring the listener to certain doom in the sketchiest underground club. If my brain must become food for the undead, Harouki Zombi presents the ideal scenario.
Essential Tracks: “Objet Petit A”, “Soldier’s Gun”