Home Reviews (REVIEW) Zake – Dolere

    (REVIEW) Zake – Dolere

    Released in June 2024 Dolere is the latest effort by Drone meister Zake.


    We previously covered Zakes amazing orchestral tape studies 2, a collection of lush tape based orchestral drone works. For this album Dolere we see Zake return with a different formula as he points his drone making in the direction of 2 gorgeous long form pieces going for over 30 minutes each.


    As one would expect, Zake is on point here, his ability to make incredible drone works at this time is unquestionable as he’s definitely raised himself up to where the likes of Celer or Stars of the lid were in previous decades. 


    With Track one Dolere, we start off with a wave of Gorgeous lush low end and sounds that waver in like wind picking up a gust and then gently residing. constantly pulsating over and over. 


    The Small layers of croaky broken tape-like sound that unfold around this give off a sort of fragile beauty, what one might refer to as nostalgia.


    One thing that is refreshing here is that because it is a long form piece, you hear the sounds move around far more freely than you would in a shorter more “songlike” ambient track. 


    Layers of his sit at the front of you and just over little movements to remind you that they’re there.


    Despite this piece being overall fairly gentle, Zake displays an uncanny control over dynamics, with his ability to create large heart breaking crescendos and pensive quiet lows on display. 

    The second track Dolera takes on a similar vibe with more emphasis on a field recording atmosphere. The pairing of field recordings with that particular vibe of drone is honestly great. It gives a really great sense of both attachment and contrast to the first piece Dolere. 


    They’re both from the same universe but Dolera doesn’t repeat the same exact formula as track 1 and I’m almost honestly quite happily surprised at Zakes ability to conjure up a imagined space with the sounds hes using because i’d generally just heard these sounds pop up in his collaborative releases and wasn’t sure how much of it was his work.  


    I don’t like using cliches when talking about this music but if you let your brain switch off for a second you’ll catch yourself having fleeting feelings similar to actually being out in the world , walking through a natural place near birds and water.


    One thing I’d like to say with this release is, with ambient it’s very easy to look at this music from an outsider perspective and just think of it as “nice ambient soundscapes’ ‘. But make no mistake if you deeply examine what’s happening here, this isn’t generic, made for the spotify playlist ambient, this is a record full of emotion and heart. I didn’t exactly pick up on what was being said here until I read the liner notes from the bandcamp (after listening to the album) which made the album made sense. 

    This album is made by a living breathing human being with their own life and I wouldnt honestly know for sure but it sounds like an album made so someone could deal with something that happened to them. 


    Listening to Zake  and seeing the thought process that went into these 2 pieces, its frankly pretty humbling. Theres something deeply mature about this record. To me it highlights a thing people probably don’t think  about enough, which is the idea of what defines an “emotional record”. An emotional record can be a few things. It can be a depressive suicidal black metal record where you’re trudging through the negative vibes in your life in a way that meditates and borderline fetishises the dark parts of reality. It can be a townes van zandt record where it’s talking about wanting to drink yourself to death because life dealt you a raw hand. 


    Or, it can be a record that’s grounded and slow, a record that sounds like someone not running away from the reality of their feelings but just trying to cope with it and move on in a healthy way. This is very much the case with Dolere I think. It’s a shame to think that a record like this could get discredited by the unaware as just being a longform ambient record when really it honestly has so much more to offer the listener.


    All in all Dolere amounts to another triumph in Zakes’ ever extending discography of consistently good works. Be sure to check it out. 

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    Anthony Cooley is a contributor to Discipline Magazine. He has previously written for such publications as Echoes and Dust, Musique Machine, Mutiny in Heaven and others. His writing focuses on the world of drone, noise and ambient music.