The Needle Drop

Zion80 - "Metatron"

New MusicContributor JonesComment Exploring Jewish music through the inspiration and lens of legendary Afrobeat godfather Fela Anikupalo Kuti would already be no easy task for anyone with the balls enough to attempt it. But 13-piece band Zion80, led by Jon Madof, isn't afraid to step into a musical world uninhabited by the majority and make the songs their own, which is exactly what they do on "Metatron". The nearly 10-minute track is a wild but supremely focused mix of bold, brave horn sections, heavy percussion and enough screaming, mind-melting electric guitar effects to make a grown man squeal like an unhinged schoolgirl. Zion80 gives a mix of the traditional, the psychedelic and the hypnotic on "Metatron": it's not quite all Afrobeat, not quite all klezmer, not quite all rock. But when the parts collaborate to make the sum, it truly adds up to something unexpected and powerful.

- Ron Grant