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Editors’ Notes

Zebra finds this Washington State-based singer/songwriter emphasizing the jazz, rocksteady and afrobeat elements in his sound, fusing them neatly with strains of British folk and Robert Wyatt-style progressive rock. Blau’s lyrics have a decidedly eccentric bent, juxtaposing images of nature with skewed snapshots from his own life. The album’s loosely-strung arrangements allow analog synthesizer murmurs, rambling piano lines and undulating bass grooves to slither in and around each other comfortably. “Waiting for the Wind,” “”Nothing New” and “Crucial Contact” radiate a woozy, home-made charm thanks to opaque wordplay and quirky instrumental work. Blau celebrates the freedom of music in “Goodbye Little Song,” tells a droll road story in “Dark Sedan Return” and embraces a childlike spirit in “Ole Moon Smile.” He seems content to tease and tickle, though “All Over the Town” and “Welcome to NW” offer a darker view of his whimsical little world. Odd, wry and funky, Zebra is a curious and altogether lovable beast.

Customer Reviews


I discovered Mr. Blau through the K records website last month. He makes good music.

Best tracks: dark sedan, tha' ole moon smile. But might be best to have the whole album.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Working out of the small town of Anacortes in northern Washington state, Karl Blau has released several cassettes, as well as a CD, Shell Collection, on the small Knw-Yr-Own label. Shell Collection, from 1997, is comprised of four-track recordings that are among the more intriguing and versatile sounds to have come out of the lo-fi indie underground. With a vibe that is both down-home and whimsical, Blau grafts parts of winsome folk-rock onto lazy jamming blues, vintage rocksteady reggae, high '70s...
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Zebra, Karl Blau
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