The Sound Projector (London)

Superb piece of evil-minded, bitter and growling noise on Mattin’s
label. If Zaïmph wishes to be known by an ‘emblem’, said emblem could
either be the venomous snake that appears to be leaping up the trunk of
a thick tree on the back cover of this black-and-silver card sleeve, or
else the grinning death’s head that is emblazoned on the CD in a
crudely-drawn device. One should not ignore however the eerie shapes
issuing up like long plumes of smoke from the grasses on the front
cover, perhaps a dark opiate naturally manufactured by the gases of the
evil swamp where Zaïmph has made her home. This CD kicks off with ten
minutes of dark, rhythmical and abrasive snarling that seem to be barked
out from a ghastly subterranean zone, filled with bats and insects
flying through the air. In no uncertain tones, Zaïmph sullenly refuses
to vary this monotony for entire duration, intent on letting us know
she’s in a seriously bad mood. No complaints so far from this
misanthropic listener.
After that dose of poison molasses, second track may seem disappointing
at first, and could be mistook for the sort of chilling ambient coldness
that BM combos like Forest have done so well. But the mood soon darkens,
and it becomes evident that Zaïmph is in full snakey mode as she
slithers cruelly across the floors of forests, kitchens and school
dormitories across the world, seeking what innocent ankle she may bite.
Halfway through this 29-minute delirium of slow-motion shriekery and
you’re pretty much immersed in a thick paste of mixed chords and
dissonant effects, all calculated to induce deep neurosis, paranoia,
fear and teeth-grinding discomfort. Still no complaints from this
maladjusted hypochondriac… Zaïmph, who is Marcia Bassett of Double
Leopards and Hototogisu, magicks up a palpable evil ectoplasm, something
whose ugly presence you can almost feel clinging closely to you like an
unwanted nocturnal guest from the spectral realms. Beware…the last nine
minutes of this one depict yet more hellish regions, opening up places
where even H P Lovecraft would fear to gaze. A minor masterpiece of hate
from the dark dominions.
ED PINSENT 19/08/2007

The Wire (#283, September 2007)
Outer Limits section reviewd by Jim Haynes

Through her work with Hototogisu and Double Leopards, Marcia Bassett has prudced, respectively, blasts of gravelly brut-noise and spiralling passages of privitive hypno-mysticism. Emblem, produced under the Zaimph moniker, recapitulates these two aesthetic polarities. The first track hails from the Hototogisu end of the spectrum, with tumbling guttural distortion and a distinctive mechanical underpinning, as if she's attached a contact mic to a cement mixer put through an overblown bass amp. The second piece reflects more of the Double Leopards sensibility, focursing upon a kosmiche tone float for a guitar and interwoven filter sweeps. At first Bassett stretches her guitar's cyclical patterns into a mournful bellow, but over the 30 minute piece, she allows the trim tales to coalesce into a leaden curtain of narcotic minimalism.