LONNY ZIBLAT - Dream Hunting

Lonny Ziblat - Dream Hunting

10 songs
33:36 minutes
***** ***


Five years ago, I was totally blown away by the second and, alas, last album by progressive rock band Modest Midget. This didnít mean that band leader Lonny Ziblat would vanish. In fact, he is one of the few professional musicians that are so active in many different ways that they can actually live off their art. Apart from his band, he also has a solo career that is more or less headed into singer/songwriter territory, but I guess his main occupation is composing soundtracks and classical music under his legal name Lionel Ziblat.

Lonny Ziblat was born in Argentina, grew up in Israel and then ended up living in the Netherlands, so one can say that he is a true cosmopolitan. In the past for instance he released an album in Hebrew language, and this time with Dream Hunting, we get a short, quiet but also incredibly varied album. As a matter of fact, the album comes with two quite different parts, which works well for the limited-edition vinyl edition. The A-side shows more of Lonny Ziblatís pop face. The opener Healing is a ballad, and despite its mellow atmosphere, it comes with a very lush instrumentation. Outta Sight comes with more beat, and vocals that are frankly Beatlesque at times. The electric piano furthermore lends this short track a spooky Sixties crime movie feeling. Barby Q is pop music at its bounciest, with a recurring melody reminding me of the Futurama title theme, or by association of Pierre Henryís seminal Psychť Rock. Up next are two longer tracks, meaning in this case a little over four minutes long. Lost And Found is a nod to Ziblatís progressive band past, and in my opinion the most mature track on the album. Itís one of those gems where you can discover new elements with each spin. Another Day is something like a crossover between chillout pop and trip hop, and a good way to end the first half. Three of these songs were written for a Dutch pop singer who didnít end up using them. I am happy that we got to hear them here.

The B-side proves that Lonny Ziblat has also a lot of talent for singer/songwriter music. Days Of Peace is a pastoral ballad performed on acoustic guitar, with the haunting guest vocals performed by Magdalena Golebiowska. Lady Witch is a spooky little thing played on the piano, reminding me of some of the weird stuff Alice Cooper did in the mid-Seventies. Definitely my highlight of the second half. Phony Baits is another track on acoustic guitar, with a certain medieval touch. A Little Secret is a tribute to the artistís late father, and accordingly melancholic. The album ends with Stuck, performed on a newly acquired ukulele. This track has this funny/melancholic atmosphere that reminds me of Kermit the Frogís Rainbow Connection, except that the latter was performed on the banjo.

Dream Hunting may not have all the excitement and glitter of a Modest Midget album, but in some ways its intimate nature is just as rewarding. Furthermore, many singer/songwriters get stuck in a rut, whereas Lonny Ziblat truly proves that he is an outstanding musician quite adept and great and varied songwriting. He is an artist definitely worth listening to.

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