Greatness can take time to develop: years of false starts, quiet experiments, and experiences with work that gently grasps at the fringes of one’s best possible ideas. These elements may have characterized the evolution of the three-piece Z CAR M, which underwent a mutation, and now stands as the solo project of Berny A. Racz, who arranges, produces and masters his self-penned songs. You can check out the project’s back story down below. The German-based artist has produced tremendous work brimming with spindly synths, jangly guitars, and earworm melodies. But on “Light Eater”, the project’s accomplished and confident 15 track record, Berny has finally leaned into the sheer force of his music. Particularly on the track, “Left Too Soon”.
The accompanying vocals are, calm, measured and melodic, lending stability to a song that literally bounces with the beating drums and keyboard pads, as the guitars slice through the arrangement like shrapnel. And as such, the song doesn’t just tell a story, it paints a mood.
The especially busy, and almost cinematic moments on “Left Too Soon” succeed because they remind you of something you’ve heard before. Z CAR M has an extremely nostalgic flavor attached to the songwriting, which takes you back to a happier time in music. At least for those of us who have lived through a different musical era.
Despite the bold and brash soundscape, atmosphere exists with ease and nuance on this song, allowing the listener to access emotions that sift below the surface without making themselves known in any obvious way. Maybe this has to do with the warm, reverb-drenched vocals and harmonies, which contrast the fiery scream of the guitars, and the big bang of the percussion.
“Left Too Soon” is the kind of song that will mean different things to different people, but as long as Z CAR M are writing songs that make you wonder, they will always somehow sound familiar.
It is a cacophony of sonic beauty melding into one perfect, precise piece of music, a distillation of the album as a whole. If Z CAR M ever exhibited constraint in the construction and execution of their past music, Berny A. Racz has abandoned this notion on “Left Too Soon”, a dynamic and melodic track which is equal parts inventive and masterful.
As a fan of melodic pop and rock, I have found it easy to connect intimately with Z CAR M. If you want to enter a world of music different from the current era of mundane, this is as good a place to start as any other. Z CAR M blows me away every time.
The Story So Far: The project Z CAR M is led by German solo artist Berny A. Racz. Berny’s Hungarian father was a professional Symphony Orchestra musician, playing the viola, and Berny himself trained as a classical pianist for a while. Z CAR M started out as a punk band in Kaiserslautern Germany, during the eighties, and consisted of Karl-Heinz (Kalle) Huth – vocals, Frank Racz (Bernys brother) – drums, and Berny A. Racz – vocals and keyboards. Z CAR M has released already 3 albums as well as various music video clips. For a while now, Berny has been writing his own original material, as well as arranging, producing and mastering his songs. Currently he has more than more than 260 of his own original songs available in his catalog and is interested in picking up a serious record deal or sync for film and other media.