Zach Moldof: A Very Special Musician

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"Live & Forgive," from the Whole Tushie LP.

"Live & Forgive," from the Whole Tushie LP.

Seashell Smoke, coming 2017. 

Seashell Smoke, coming 2017. 

Here is a collection of select music that spans Zach's discography dating back to 2003, although the complete collection goes back to 2001. These albums are the account of a young artist's self-realization through music. Over the course of 15 years you can hear the cultivation of an entirely unique approach to making rap music, the refinement of a craft in search of a more accurate self, and if you listen closely enough you can hear a young man come of age and discover himself. 

The oldest recordings were made in stark opposition to the hip hop trends at the time. In the early 2000's when the South's dominance was just beginning to take hold, and super-polished-usually-chintzy synthesizer symphonies were the norm, Zach was making rough abstract songs using a Boss SP202, samples, and whatever instruments he found at garage sales and flea markets. While his peers were fixated on the radio and emulating what they saw on MTV, Zach wanted to be like Living Legends, Anticon, Freestyle Fellowship, or Def Jux. At that time he was playing shows, participating in freestyle open mics, and battling regularly in Orlando

"influenced by John Cage, Steve Reich, Can, Bill Laswell, Terry Riley"

Through the mid 2000s Zach's music veered away from rapping, and into field recordings, and drumming. This was a time when hip hop was going through some very awkward stages. By now the South had come to dominate the popular sound of hip hop, and the housing market was in a major upswing meaning lots more money was flowing around. This was the time when superstar rappers–as we know them today–were born. At that point Zach didn't have much to contribute to hip hop, so he just listened, and his recordings were focused on exploring music. In this phase he was deeply influenced by artists such as John Cage, Steve Reich, Can, Bill Laswell, Terry Riley, and various folk music traditions from around the world especially: Indian classical, Chinese gu qin,and Andean music.

Entering into the 2010s Zach returned to making rap music, only now with vastly improved technology. In 10 years time the cost for the tools to produce conventional rap beats went from around $10,000 + to about $3,000. And given that a laptop is half of that cost, and Zach had a laptop, it meant that he could make the kind of music he had been hearing in his head for years. His songs from this period are more accessible, and sound a lot more like songs, but they still subvert many of the qualities that convey "rap music". But at this point rap started to open up a lot more. The macho, homophobic, insecure, male super-ego that had dominated rap began to fade. As artists like Drake, Wale, and Kid Cudi became the norm Zach saw the possibility to create a lane for himself.

"old enough to have a solid impression of the pre-internet world, and young enough to have an identity rooted in the internet"

By 2016 Zach had been rapping for 17 years, and recording for 14 years. That is just old enough to have gotten a solid impression of the old school pre-internet world, and just young enough to have an identity rooted in internet culture. Zach has taken his time to explore sounds and music, and craft a style that disregards convention, and defies time. No other artist on Earth has captured and presented the power of the internet in such a fashion. Zach's catalog depicts a vastly creative individual who spent 17 years teaching himself how to play music, how to produce a record, and how to present a record to the public. The earliest offers are earnest, but harsh, but the artist's creative potential drives a slow change that gives birth to an entirely unique approach to music. This is the epochal tale of the internet's power to enable an artist as told by one of the last artists born before the internet. 

2012 - 2016

Hashburry Gardens, 2012. Artwork and raps by Left Leberra and Zachg, beats by Zachg. This is Zach's fourth release--in a string of 20+ releases--in 2012. Simple, quickly-made beats set the stage for a conceptual record about running a hash-centric bed and breakfast that also provides world-class call girls. One of many collaborations between Left and Zach. 

Hashburry Gardens2012. Artwork and raps by Left Leberra and Zachg, beats by Zachg. This is Zach's fourth release--in a string of 20+ releases--in 2012. Simple, quickly-made beats set the stage for a conceptual record about running a hash-centric bed and breakfast that also provides world-class call girls. One of many collaborations between Left and Zach. 

Raindancin in the *uss*, 2012. Artwork, beats, and raps by Zachg. File under: weird but fun internet rap. Release number 16 in 2012, and possibly the most well-received record in Zach's disocgraphy, it landed a spot on Spin's No Trivia weekly roundup. This record features guest appearances from Left Leberra, Supa, Nasty Nigel, and Western Tink.                                                          

Raindancin in the *uss*2012. Artwork, beats, and raps by Zachg. File under: weird but fun internet rap. Release number 16 in 2012, and possibly the most well-received record in Zach's disocgraphy, it landed a spot on Spin's No Trivia weekly roundup. This record features guest appearances from Left Leberra, Supa, Nasty Nigel, and Western Tink.                                                          

ERRLIRL, 2016. Artwork, beats, raps, and mixing by Zachg. Photo by Hana Ardelean, master by William Ryan Fritch. This album is the final installment in Zach's experimental-leaning, but pop aspiring records. It tests the absolute limits of experimental music as a vessel for pop songs. It often fails to meet our culture's standards for pop music right now, but it reveals alternatives to the impossible.

ERRLIRL2016. Artwork, beats, raps, and mixing by Zachg. Photo by Hana Ardelean, master by William Ryan Fritch. This album is the final installment in Zach's experimental-leaning, but pop aspiring records. It tests the absolute limits of experimental music as a vessel for pop songs. It often fails to meet our culture's standards for pop music right now, but it reveals alternatives to the impossible.

2006 - 2011

Dear John: 78'36" Infinitesimally, 2007. Field recordings and mixing by Zachg. File Under: Phonography. Over 24 hours of field recordings from NYC layered, mixed, faded, and panned to all play over the course of 78 minutes and 36 seconds. An homage to John Cage created for an ethnomusicology course at NYU.

Dear John: 78'36" Infinitesimally, 2007. Field recordings and mixing by Zachg. File Under: Phonography. Over 24 hours of field recordings from NYC layered, mixed, faded, and panned to all play over the course of 78 minutes and 36 seconds. An homage to John Cage created for an ethnomusicology course at NYU.

Whale Potion, 2010. Edits, and raps by Zachg. File Under: Rap music for people who thought 2010 was a great year for indie music. This was the first Zachg release, and it is a total departure from the earlier Hemol music.     

Whale Potion2010. Edits, and raps by Zachg. File Under: Rap music for people who thought 2010 was a great year for indie music. This was the first Zachg release, and it is a total departure from the earlier Hemol music. 

 

 

Rara Aves, 2011. Beats, raps, and mix by Zachg, master by Odd Nosdam. File under: Experimental rap. An album from Zach's time in Oakland, and his first official album as Zachg.      

Rara Aves2011. Beats, raps, and mix by Zachg, master by Odd Nosdam. File under: Experimental rap. An album from Zach's time in Oakland, and his first official album as Zachg.

 

 

 

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2001 - 2005

Dymaxion Disc, 2003. Beats, and raps by Zachg. File Under: Experimental rap music for weirdos and fuckos. This is Zach's third release as Hemol. The music was all made with an SP202, an Ensoniq EPS, random gear found at flea markets, and PC freeware called N-Track.

Dymaxion Disc, 2003. Beats, and raps by Zachg. File Under: Experimental rap music for weirdos and fuckos. This is Zach's third release as Hemol. The music was all made with an SP202, an Ensoniq EPS, random gear found at flea markets, and PC freeware called N-Track.

Sound 2, 2004. Drums, field recordings, and various instruments by Zachg. File under: Very Strange Experimental with drums. 

Sound 2, 2004Drums, field recordings, and various instruments by Zachg. File under: Very Strange Experimental with drums. 

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