For over two years Yoko-Zuna have been crafting a reputation as one of the most innovative and exciting acts in the NZ music scene. Their debut album, This Place Here, first showed an act not afraid to play with the conventions of the electronic and hip-hop genres. On Luminols, Yoko-Zuna are coming from a different playing field, and have delivered five killer tracks with a sound that is entirely their own.
All five tracks show a varied sound from Yoko-Zuna, and a band which have become incredibly comfortable in their own skin. Ranging from the pulsating electronic sounds of ‘Lightning Sabres’ to the brooding slow-burn of ‘Orchard St’, Yoko-Zuna is a band taking their sound to the next level.
Recorded at Auckland’s Red Bull Studios alongside in-house engineer Ben Lawson, Luminols features guest vocals from NZ music royalty, along with some of NZ’s brightest talents. Auckland-based rapper Lukan Raisey welcomes listeners to the Luminols party with the atmospheric opener ‘Canvas’, before Shapeshifter’s P-Digsss’s trademark howl and energy punctuates lead-single ‘Lightning Sabres’. ‘Orchard St’ combines delicate keys with powerful verses from Tom Scott, while ‘One Question’ puts Laughton Kora front and centre with an infectious bassline and forceful drumming. Closing track ‘Yes’ features rising talents Heavy and LarzRanda, and shows the band further pushing their sound into again different territories.
Auckland’s Red Bull Studio proved the perfect place for Yoko-Zuna, allowing them to get more experimental with their sound. Frank Eliesa’s keys and synth-bass combining perfectly with Swap Gomez’s drums and samples, creating an exceptional future-rhythm section. Kenji Iwamitsu-Holdaway’s guitar and bass constantly floating in and out of the tracks, driving and punctuating where needed. JY Lee’s saxophone and flute work is exceptional and a highlight – frequently surprising and reminiscent of Kamasi Washington’s work on To Pimp A Butterfly. All of which held together with expert precision by producer/engineer Cam Duncan.
Luminols is the sound of a band reaching the potential that has been seen by everyone who has had the pleasure of experiencing them live. Five tracks showcasing one of New Zealand’s most exciting acts. Five tracks which succinctly pull apart the genres of electronic, hip-hop and alternative music, and put them back together in the inimitable Yoko-Zuna style.