TRACK PREMIERE: ZHAO “reCOLLECTION” (F. Annabelle Maginnis + Tolliver + Def Sound)
Civil society grinds to a stop, but the music still comes out: producer Kenny Zhao‘s new “reCOLLECTION” (featuring L.A. RECORD contributor Tolliver and prior L.A. RECORD featurees Annabelle Maginnis—premiered here—and def.sound—premiered here) was written and composed before coronavirus lockdown, but its re-examinations of community, connection and navigating the unknown have suddenly become as timely as they were timeless. The unpredictable “reCOLLECTION” is cut like a pocket opera, with styles and musical signatures rapidly changing to match the message and movement of each singer, making a song that flows between pop, R&B, hip-hop and electronica like water (and waves and whirpools) across rock.
“reCOLLECTION” was assembled component by component by Zhao and each vocalist, amplifying and replying to the verses already set down. “A game of telephone,” they explain, where Maginnis’ philosophical call-and-response with Tolliver—singing about “redefining waste and value, recognizing impermanence, [and] cultivating deep relationships,” she says, “[which] inspired Tolliver’s verse which touches on community and ways of shared experiences creating nonhierarchical connectivity.”—is outlined in light by def.sound’s commentary-slash-summary. As they explain:
“’reCOLLECTION’ is a beautiful example of how things can evolve if you give them time—a collective exercise in re-memory. With each character embodying an elemental avatar, ‘reCOLLECTION’ is a blend of new and old ideas that illuminates the worlds outside the illusion of scarcity. ‘reCOLLECTION’ is a danceable processing of what we are all processing, together.”
Produced by Zhao
Written by Zhao, Annabelle Maginnis, Tolliver, Def Sound
Mixed by Kenny Zhao
Mastered by Kelly Hibbert