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2CD on 4AD.
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At last. When embarking on a reviewing marathon, it’s a challenge enough to try find a record you actually like. Phil has just wandered over with the new Zomby record. It’s a double album, 33 tracks and I have...what? 30 minutes to dissect it and tell you all about it. Luckily, my job has been made easier by the fact that it sounds abso-bloody-lutely brilliant. Zomby was one of the more peculiar signings to 4AD in recent years but his previous record ‘Dedication’ won plaudits from pretty much every ear it climbed into and here he is with a relatively swift follow up and at is an enormous double CD/triple LP, a veritable smorgasboard of the best bits of dance music.
It’s one of those albums that is sprawling, all over the bloody place but its quality means that it is a sweet shop for the ear for discerning dance music aficionados. A quick listen through the first few tracks reveals bleepy acidy dubstep, utterly gorgeous layered electronica, grime, late night glacial synth evocations, chopped up vocal and thumping bass, four to the floor funky house workouts, and his signature style of trancey synth and understated beat work. I could do without the “it’s time to get fucking mental” post-garage chune ‘It’s Alright’ but the remit here seems to be to throw everything on the record regardless of style so there will be the odd bit that you want to skip over but you can rest assured there will be something you like along in a minute. I’ve just found some old school drum and bass lolloping away down the back of CD1.
The album is full of things like this, tracks break off after a couple of minutes (the sheer halting on the lovely ‘Ascension’ is borderline criminal), to be replaced by something completely sonically at odds. I’m not even through the first CD yet and it’s going to be a full time hobby to work your way around all of its charms but this ambitious, hugely creative work seems to trace an arc through dance music’s history, and will surely elevate Zomby further into the stratosphere.
7/10 Syn Fae Customer review, 17th July 2013
The other dude who reviewed is kind of a douche. On another note, this album is actually no THAT bad. If he wasn't sober, he was obviously on some shitty ass weed or something.
It takes a couple of listens to let it grow on you, but it's overall a pretty good listen. ;)
2/10 a 12 a 1234 Customer review, 26th June 2013
All hype. CD2 is awful and could have been practically discarded altogether.. the first track on the album I think is the most interesting and you feel you are in for a real treat but the rest is pretty much dull and plodding. The trance-y lead used on most tracks is especially bad and sounds like a soft synth preset.
This album is really overated - the Norman review makes it sound like it is some sort of mindblowing musical odyssey. To sum up I would say about 4 or 5 ok tracks. To compare it to really good recent electronic music like hearing Burial for the first time or the inventiveness of Actress, or the clean precision of Alva Noto is laughable.
I read a Zomby interview with him talking about mining the history of electronic music and the buzz of hearing new records and how good electronic music could be…it was exciting to read but unfortunately this album is a real dissapointment.
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