Zior Park: SYNDROMEZ
I. Have. Missed. Zior Park. After his first album was removed from all streaming platforms (ultimately making me think I'd imagined it like some fever dream), for some reason I thought I'd never hear from again. Lo and behold, he's been releasing music for the past few years while I've just been wallowing in despair for absolutely no reason! Shame on me!
He's moved from doing more rap-focused music and has nestled into an "alternative" pocket. I'm prone to think "alternative" isn't enough of a modifier to describe this man. He's just got a musical personality so disparate from South Korea's mainstream that it's no wonder I convinced myself he'd been disappeared from existence.
SYNDROMEZ, while more focused and a bit more straightforward, is no less enigmatic. Fitting for an artist who really defies definition. This punches any expectations you might have in the guts. It's like if Róisín Murphy's Ruby Blue went on a date with Captain Murphy, then had a torrid love affair with the Sneaker Pimps' Bloodsport. And I live for it.
When we get to track "BLACK FIN," Zior reaches for the more slanted elements of "alternative." He pushes that signifier to the edges of its known limits and teaches people what you're really supposed to do with it. A genre whose name is so vague it practically begs to be fucked with. Manipulated and confused, broken in several places and put back together with electrical tape, barbed wire and super glue.
Tabber's appearance on this album lends even more credence to the cock-eyed devilry that Zior Park lives for. Cheeky bastard calls himself an "ACTIVE VOLCANO." But did he lie? I think the fuck not! It's this type of artistry and tongue-in-cheek self-flagellation that separates him from most of his peers. Because though he has the capacity to be exceptionally tender ("GHOST"), he also has the scythe-sharp tongue of a man who's waiting to trip you up and keep you wondering what his true intentions are (the aforementioned "BLACK FIN" and "ACTIVE VOLCANO"; "0 GRAVITY").
SYNDROMEZ is a fitting album for a man and artist who isn't afraid to cut himself open to see how he functions, to diagnose himself, then get back to the business of making more art. Did I mention I've missed Zior Park?