WALKING QUICKLY STANDING STILL, the debut album by Dogzen Zendog is released today on global streaming platforms, downloads, and physical CD. The vinyl LPs will begin shipping in mid-July.
You can hear the album and get links to every platform here: https://www.xenotone.com/wqss-smartlinks
GLENN O’HALLORAN and BLAKE LEYH met in 1977 among some punks organizing a Rock Against Racism concert in Bletchley. Glenn was the lead singer for The Transistors, and Blake was an aspiring musician who at 14 was a bit too young to be in a real band. They shared political and musical interests and became fast friends when Glenn introduced Blake to ambient and dub to extend his musical palate beyond the limitations of punk. They went together to the gigantic Rock Against Racism march and concert in Victoria Park on April 30th 1978, and they talked about collaborating on some music - maybe even forming a record label - but they couldn’t possibly know then that the dream would finally materialize forty years later as the album WALKING QUICKLY STANDING STILL.
Glenn went on to make music with many bands and co-founded Milton Keynes label Off-Centre Records, but although he was always writing music and lyrics he never quite found time to record a solo album. After being a working musician in everything from jazz to disco and doing various jobs over the years, in 2014 returning to the UK after living in Madrid Glenn spent two years in which he did not make any music at all, passing his days employed as a Human Rights Advocate and his nights sleeping on the floor of a Buddhist temple. It was during this period that he first conceived of the DOGZEN ZENDOG idea: a series of songs, each one featuring a specific character. A man who’s life centers on a hi-fi system; Peter, who walks slowly; John, who smiles into the sun.
Blake moved to the US in 1978 and became a sound designer, composer, music supervisor, and music producer. Over four decades he worked at the top of his field with credits on films by James Cameron, The Coen Brothers, Spike Lee, and many more. He was the music supervisor for all of David Simon’s television work including The Wire, for which he also wrote the end theme music. In 2019 he formed the Xenotone record label which released the acclaimed debut album Autogenesis from Blake’s experimental Harlem-based band N to The Power. In 2021 Xenotone is releasing an ambient compilation, two albums of film scores, and on June 25th Glenn’s debut solo album WALKING QUICKLY STANDING STILL.
Glenn and Blake kept in touch over the years and finally began working together in 2018 on the group of songs that would become WALKING QUICKLY STANDING STILL. Glenn wrote music and lyrics and recorded basic ideas in his home studio. Working quickly, often using the first take to maintain spontaneity, he assembled rough versions of the songs with excursions to the homes and local studios of guest musicians on sax, guitar, and drums. These rough versions were sent to Blake in New York, where he added upright electric bass, more guitars, electronics, backing vocals with his 14-year-old daughter, and brought his cinematic sensibility to create lush landscapes of sound supporting the human characters and stories of the songs.
The end result contains all of these influences. 1970s punk, council estates, dub echoes, social justice, strange visions, and relatable moments and characters from post-Brexit, almost post-plague, contemporary British life. A conversation which began between two young men in Bletchley in 1977 has culminated in a complex work of musical art a lifetime later.
TRACKLIST: 1.CARLISLE (4:51) 2.TAKE HIS TIME (4:43) 3.BILL’S GREAT DAY (5:34) 4.HI-FI STORY (6:24) 5. PETER WALKING (4:38) 6. OUTBOUND (4:18) 7. JOHN’S GONE (3:47) 8. 10K V2 (3:18)
Produced by Blake Leyh with Glenn O’Halloran • Mixed by Blake Leyh • Art direction, design, & photography by Astrid Baerndal • Music and lyrics written by Glenn O’Halloran Music arranged by Glenn O’Halloran & Blake Leyh• Published by Ground Loop Music (BMI) ℗ and © 2021 Glenn O’Halloran / Xenotone. All rights reserved.
MUSICIANS: Glenn O’Halloran: voice, vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, disruption guitar, keyboards, programming, percussion • Blake Leyh: bass, electric guitar, soprano guitar, electric cello, programming, backing vocals • “Big Tenor “Joe O’Halloran: saxophone • Carlisle - Howard Lewis: lead guitar / Jack O’Halloran: drums / Ryoko Leyh: backing vocals / Brent O’Halloran: backing vocals • Outbound - Astrid Baerndale: voices Recorded in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom and Harlem, New York City, USA.