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Sensitive Zombie [sen-si-tiv zom-bee]: (noun) A catatonic state most often associated with the after effects of sexual intercourse.
There was a zone established in the early 1990s – zip codes away from the scabby halls of grunge, and several long miles apart from the suburban heart of Britpop – where music took on a kind of brooding, soulful style that sucked the listener into a world of woes but, ultimately, wayward hope. It was a bit hip-hop but not as hard. Somewhat trippy but nowhere near as inaccessible as trance (away from the clubs, that is). Indeed, with the crafty tag of ‘trip-hop’, this then-fresh sub-genre of music attracted all manner of audiences – fans at the more laidback end of rap; clubbers who liked their beats-per-minute slowed down so as to appreciate the lyrics; and music lovers whose CD shelves were imperatively lined with three key LPs: Massive Attack’s Protection, Portishead’s Dummy, and Everything But The Girl’s Walking Wounded.
The multi-strains of emotions that permeated these records could be related by just about anyone: hippies, yuppies, spliff-smokers, chem-dabblers, you name it. An album could be played getting ready for a big night out, warning the listener of some necessary heed amid hedonism of a then-nihilistic club scene. Or played during the come-down session when “all back at mine” meant cheaper vodka cocktails whisked up at a mate’s house - and an even better selection of “choons” for you, your besties, and some new mates picked up along the way to truly enjoy.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard music that brings so many emotions to the fore; that blends people of all backgrounds to ponder life’s dichotomies – the darkness beyond the light, the bitterness behind the sweet, the flaws behind the beauty.
So that’s where Sensitive Zombie come in.
Consisting of songwriter, producer, rapper and multi-instrumentalist (phew!) No Qualms, and songwriter, vocalist and keyboardist Maz Mazák, this duo picks up from where the likes of Soul II Soul, Tricky, Neneh Cherry and all the aforementioned left off. Only it ain’t being called ‘trip-hop’ anymore… well at least not without the adjectives of ‘sexy’ and ‘neo’ sliding in before it.