VINYL DIARY #10: New Zion

jamie saft new zion trio vinyl diary life has surface noise vinyl junkies

New Zion W. Cyro ‎– Sunshine Seas

RareNoise Records ‎– RNR065LP

2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, 180g, Gatefold

Released: 29 Apr 2016

First spin. The morning routine consists of getting down my first words over a coffee and a smoke, then choosing the first lp to soundtrack the day. New Zion is brother Jamie Saft’s dub/chill project. I’d been familiar with Saft’s work since the late 90s, mostly as a keyboard/piano guy on John Zorn’s Filmworks cds. He was one of those New York cats that was a staple at The Knitting Factory, playing the weird shit most people wanted nothing to do with. Dude played music that challenged.

Beyond that, I never really knew Saft as a composer or individual performer.
Then, Vinyl Junkies.
We’d developed a friendship through our mutual love for music, food and art. Many friendly exchanges led to a visit last fall. He rolled up in an SUV full of friends, an overnight road trip to attend some gastronomic feast that Joe Beef was hosting. Dude dropped in with a BIG stack of wax, 10 lps which effectively hipped me to larger swathes of his recorded career. The visit was brief but we kinda knew the next one would be less rushed.

New Zion is my favorite from that pile, and a complete revelation to me. It sounds like a fat joint on the world’s most beautiful beach. I always thought Saft only played the crazy stuff! Fans of dub and Brazilian percussion should jump on any opportunity to get their hands on this. It’s ultra chill and sunny and it packs an irie mood in every relaxed groove.

Montreal Jazz Festival, this Summer. Saft’s gonna be playing a gig, day passes secured. The hang will be longer, music will be played. If time and circumstances permit, there may even be time for barbecue and a swim. The likelihood of him hearing some New Zion pop up in the Summer Mixtape is there. Shuffle goes about a thousand songs deep but shuffle ultimately decides what gets played, we’ll see. I’m guessing that playing an artist’s music back to him would be considered kinda tacky but New Zion is necessarily being added to this year’s mixtape. What shuffle does with it is out of my hands, my alibi is sorted out. Social media’s a beautiful thing, if done right. Don’t blame the tool for shitty work, put it to good use. Beauty is everywhere.

NEXT: VINYL DIARY #9: Opera, Immigrants, Lasagna And Nickelback