Time Wave Zero “Unknown Unknowns”

04 Jan 2013 — Andrew Wagner


Not too much is known about new musical project Time Wave Zero. They might be from Montenegro, they have one other track posted on their Soundcloud, and that’s about it. So, their latest track is fittingly titled “Unknown Unknowns.” It’s a seven-minute synth jam as heard through a broken-down boombox, sounding like something the Internet coughed up and spit out, in the vein of early James Ferraro or Hype Williams. Time Wave Zero appear to enjoy verging on the conceptual side: the track samples a speech by Donald Rumsfeld where he claims there are only three things, “known knowns," "known unknowns," and "unknown unknowns”, while 'Time Wave Zero' itself refers to a complex and bizarre theory of 'novelty' by New Age writer Terence McKenna. But ultimately, it’s that incredible syrupy synth line which makes the song so great. Not quite a loop, the synths meander about without building towards anything in particular. The whole thing sounds like the soundtrack to classic Nintendo games—think EarthBound, or perhaps Animal Crossing. At once joyously nostalgic and vaguely unsettling, “Unknown Unknowns” is a strangely addictive seven minutes.