Release Date: Nov 28, 2011
Record label: 4AD
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
Don't let the title or post-album late-year timing fool you-- there are plenty of good things happening on Nothing. While it sounds like it was taken from the same creative burst that birthed London producer Zomby's recent LP Dedication, here that album's glum funereality gets an almost dance-friendly makeover. With its classic-sounding jungle breaks and ragga vocal samples, opener "Labyrinth" immediately recalls Zomby's vaguely conceptual throwback debut Where Were U in '92?, though drenched in noir melancholy.
Post-dubstep. One of the several labels that have emerged in the last couple of years trying to comprise and give sense to several ‘new music’ manifestations, a ‘wild card’ term so commonly used that it’s practically taken for granted among the hype-commanded network communities, where it has been incorporated into the regular pop musicological lexicon and inflated to the point of self-justification. But apart from its taxonomical relevance, let’s take a closer look at the connotations of the term post-dubstep, by isolating its prefix.
Stately though Dedication was, its serious mien and careful composition made it an introduction to Zomby that made his work seem less appealingly messy than it oftentimes is. This seven-song, 23-minute EP remedies that. It's not a heavy-duty statement—simply a seven-track sampler platter of Zomby specialties, from rave manqué to 8-bit—but that's a good part of the appeal.
This latest effort from the English-bred garage DJ signed to England’s legendary 4AD gets things off to a quick start with “Labyrinth”, which has an interesting beat to it and sounds a bit like something Fatboy Slim would’ve done in the ‘90s. That’s not a bad thing and with Zomby working on it, it manages to sound fresh and cool in the 21st century. The second track, “Digital Fractal”, is much better and comes off as a well-formed song with a nice beat and a down-tempo feel, the perfect thing for listening to in the club when it’s time to chill out a bit.
Five short months ago, elusive UK producer Zomby dropped Dedication, a dark, genre-bending record our own MÃ¶hammad Choudhery called “enduring” and “simultaneously more measured and frenetic than ever before. ” Between the lack of danceable tunes expected from the man whose catalog includes dub-step jams like “Liquid Dancehall” and having a whole album dedicated to reviving ’90s raves and jungle beats, collaborations with Panda Bear, and the haunting rattle of “Witch Hunt”, Dedication was a surprise, but, ultimately, a welcome one. With the seven-song Nothing EP, the deliberateness of Dedication is gone, as we are left with a ramshackle collection of glimpses into Zomby’s back catalog, without looking too far forward.
Sounds like Zomby has been eating the rave candies recently, or maybe he’s just made a comeback from the dark emotions that inspired his album Dedication. Throughout his newest EP, Nothing, that mysterious diva bastard revisits a particular vocal sample, stretching it thin or packing it with a tinny vocoder sigh. The sample’s one word—a vaguely female and highly affected voice breathing “ecstasy”—is just about the only word on the EP, and it crops up in “Labyrinth,” “Sens” and (of course) “Ecstasy Versions.” The sample fits in with the characteristics that distinguish Nothing from Dedication.
Tunes which are seriously deconstructing the progression of the western bass canon. Matthew Bennett 2011 Anonymity: it’s a cultural currency that certainly has a robust base-rate to underwrite its continued existence. There’ve been many electronic acts that have attempted the masked raid on the industry. Underground Resistance, Basic Channel and to some degree Daft Punk all got into the vault.