Beginning life in Belgium in 2018, Echoes of Zoo is the brainchild project of Nathan Daems, also comprising Bart Vervaeck, Lieven Van Pée and Falk Schrauwen. Following their 2021 debut album, BREAKOUT, they have announced the release of a new album titled Speech of Species. Slated for a May 12th release through W.E.R.F. Records, the new record remains true to the quartet’s heady fusion of psychedelic jazz, dub and rock with a punk edge, and the feel-good feel of a marching band. Continuing to pour out a relentlessly pulsing sonic energy, on the upcoming album, Echoes of Zoo “experiment with Eastern and Balkan sounds, microtonal guitars, animalistic sounds, and a host of new rhythmic observations based on Brazilian and West African grooves”, as the press release describes. Speech of Species centres on the theme of animal communication, as Daems explains:
“Messages are constantly being transmitted in the animal world by adopting body poses; there are more than 2,000 different poses or “words” in certain lizard species, by dancing in the most ingenious ways, by changing colours from geometric patterns (certain species of squids and chameleons do this), by causing vibrations in the ground, by smells, even by giving light and so on. How can we be so blind to that and say that animals cannot speak?”
With balkan inflections and tinged with oriental ebullience, ‘Bee Jive’ serves as the first exhilarating taste to emerge from the album. The track is inspired by a chaotic beehive and “based on a Senegalese Sabar rhythm, spiced with short Balkan riffs on saxophone and an energetic oriental guitar solo”. Take a listen below.