Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Zion I's Atomic Clock
Zion I despite what the name might indicate or hint at is not a reggae band. Oh no, these hip hoppers are far to diverse and original to be pigeonholed by their name. While reggae and dub play and important role in their music, Zion I bring more to the table than a staff of twenty butlers at Donald Trump's house could ever hope to. Chameleon-like, thought provoking, and really good, Zion I are a fantastic group that fear no genre, aren't afraid of any sound, and love to tinker with what's acceptable within the hip hop genre. Their latest album, and follow up to the diverse The Takeover, Atomic Clock continues Zion I's intriguing display of creativity and open mindedness that The Takeover hinted at.
From club bangers, dubbed out anthems, reggae vibes, electro flourishes and everything in between, Atomic Clock is packed to the gills with songs that are scientifically designed to rock the dance floor as much as rock your ear drums. Taking indie hip hop to places rarely explored by artists, Zion I charge headlong to these areas and make them all their own. This is a group that's as in love with dance music as it is hip hop and dub and anxiously mix it all together with the hopes of pushing things forward. For the most part, they succeed. Atomic Clock is so completely different than everything else and so ahead of the curve that it's almost circled back around.
While there are the occasional hiccups, see "Polarity," and "Girlz," Atomic Clock maintains a high level of creativity throughout and as a result turns out to be a darn fine hip hop record. You can't say enough about the fact that Zion I really fear nothing musically and love to include "so many styles," as their record says. Zion I continually work to diversify and challenge a genre that's so often dragged down by cliche's and unoriginal production. They may never find their way into the Top 40, but it's refreshing to know that there are hip hop artists who enjoy the creative process and continually seek to be as original as possible. I give props to Zion I for just existing and even more props for coming up with not one but two fantastic albums.