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October 26 , 2021
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Unoccupied - Everyday Life

 ( Aleph Zero ,  Nov. 2008 )

1. Everyday Life 4:30 2. Basic Conversation 4:15 3. Always on the Move 4:33 4. Time Off 5:00 5. Stay Outside 5:02 6. One Happy Thought 3:57 7. Have It All 5:12 8. She 3:28 9. Painting of a Forest 2:25 10. Personal Interview 4:09 11. Cash 5:39

Unoccupied are a duo from Israel, Eitan Reiter, maybe better known as one half of Psytrance act Loud, and Nadav Katz. Everyday Life is their view of our everyday lives.
Before I write this review I'd like to say two things. First I am a long time fan of Aleph Zero having really enjoyed everything they have released to date. Aleph Zero definitely seems to have a quality filter so you always know when you pick up their latest release no matter the style the music will be a great example of it. The second thing I'd like to say is that I am really not a fan of vocals in electronic music. I feel that they are a dominating and often distracting layer that can make it more difficult to appreciate the real music that lies beneath.

So what did I think of an Aleph Zero album with a lot of vocals? Well the music is great, the whole album has a nice urban feel to with a lot of nice melodies both electronic and played on the guitar as well as some decent ambient glitch. The vocals are okay. On the whole they don't distract too much from the underlying rhythms and themes of the albums and often actually have some meaning, social commentary on Everyday Life. The first two tracks are good examples of this with the lyrics in the cold & moody title track Everyday Life tells us of a recluse who doesn't join in the social events that his friends do. In the next track the retro feeling synth pop track Basic Conversation seems to tell of someone coming to terms with the simplest of social skills.
That said though I think I would like this album more if most of the vocals had been left out. A really nice melody in the track Stay Outside is covered by a repeating vocal that sounds somewhat rude to me and it is only when the vocals leaves that I usually notice the melody. Likewise my favourite tracks or parts of tracks are usually vocal free.
My favourite track here is She with its cold moody feeling and indecipherable lyrics, it's quite minimal but packs in a lot of atmosphere. The only track I don't like is Personal Interview because the Monologue that dominates the first half while interesting on the first couple of listens becomes tired and irritating on repeated listens. The rest of the tracks are all good, they have nice urban textures, melodies ranging from warm to melancholic and a lot of nice percussion. It's not amazing but different enough from a lot of conventional chillout that it has me coming back to listen to it quite a lot.

Recomendation:  If you are looking for something a little different than what has flooded the scene in recent years, if you don't mind vocals and you enjoy nice urban textures then you should check this out. It's not the greatest album Aleph Zero has released but it's a nice example of how the guys at Aleph Zero are not afraid to try new things and explore new directions with their music.

Favorite tracks:8

Review by : Abasio

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