Pop It! Drum for Your Life
(2015, System Dialing Records)
Google Amir Ziv and you are going to learn a lot about the dean of the Columbia University Business School. Different guy. The Amir Ziv we are concerned with today is the wildly imaginative drummer, drum educator, and composer behind the ensemble Pop It!, whose record Drum for Your Life is one of the most indescribably strange and—literally and figuratively—striking discs to cross this desk in quite some time. Ziv heads the drum faculty at New York City's esteemed New School. He has cofounded ensembles with the likes of Ornette Coleman, Marc Ribot, and Billy Martin and beat the skins for countless others. He is the founder of System Dialing Records, the demonstratively eclectic label on which Drum for Your Life has been released.
The genesis of the project is almost as hard to describe as the breathtakingly ambitious, dramatically recorded percussion-based music itself. It is the culmination of four years of a cross-disciplinary curriculum run by the Living Arts Apprenticeship Program, located in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Participants simultaneously studied drumming, music composition, and aikido. Many unconventional percussion instruments were employed, and, on "Aliquot," a new mathematically derived scale, in the tradition of Harry Partch. Horns provide occasional haunting atmospheres. Spoken word and chant feature in a number of tracks, as does an E. E. Cummings poem. The drumming encompasses frenetic, trashy groove, minimalist time pieces, and cascading textural madness. It's just end-to-end awesome. Systemdialingrecords.com.