The “Z” in ZG is Zansika Lachhani, who by her first name was known as the featured vocalist and co-writer on a number of tracks with Restless Soul, Phlash & Friends and a bunch of other projects from the late, great Phil Asher (best known of all was probably 2007’s “And I Know It.”)
I think that’s important to note because you are a fan of Phil Asher you are going to fucking love this album.
ZG, Zansika’s new project with “Grant” (aka Anthony Collins from Frank & Tony) has apparently been nearly four years in the making and it delivers one of the unexpected sleeper hits of 2022, just ahead of the finish line with the self-titled ZG album.
It’s not all broken beat but some of it is, and it’s not all soulful but all of it has soul. With gorgeous, lush strings, pads wavering in the heat of the day and cool vocals that unexpectedly arc like solar flares, Zansika and Grant bottle up a beautiful mood, an eternity trapped in the shutter of a musical photograph. There are seven tracks here and they build up on each other to the point it’s difficult to wrench one of them out of the mix and promote it higher above the others as a single. “Jungle Times” (titled after a cheeky clip from Apocalypse Now) drifts languorously, a life raft up a shallow river, drums hitting like a soft and gentle rain on the surface.
I want to stop right now, because this track alone is worthy of the highest rating any magazine can offer. It’s amazing. It’s everything. And everything else is a series of beautiful surprises along the way.
“Roll of Thunder” evokes a witchy mix of Dego meets The Sunshine Band, sound like a thundercloud that reverberates in the quietest way you can imagine. “Ombre” may single-handedly carry downtempo lo-fi grooves from the world of digital muzak and back into the social clubs and black-walled lounges where it needs to be. The soul-with-strings-with-broken beats of “Drift Out” closes this album on a bed of pure white clouds. ZG is blindingly beautiful work, achingly soulful and full of moments of personal, artistic and spiritual deliverance.
ZG (Zansika Lachhani and Grant): ZG (Scissor & Thread / 12″ Vinyl / Digital / November 18 2022)
1. ZG: Jungle Times (05:33)
2. ZG: Roll Of Thunder (04:15)
3. ZG: When Young (03:31)
4. ZG: Ombre (06:55)
5. ZG: Aura (05:44)
6. ZG: Dog Days (05:39)
7. ZG: Drift Out (05:48)
⚪️ Disclosure Statement: This record was submitted as a promo. Photo provided.