It's Zomby. His music is very good -- there hasn't been a full LP since the vignette masterpiece With Love but here's Ultra, a record that promises knockout collaborations with artists including HKE, Rezzett and dubstep whisperer Burial. Crystal-clear productions, no doubt.
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 01 September 2016
Usually I’m willing to fob the modern day music off on the young people here whilst I concentrate on elderly peoples sounds but I’ve nagged Laurie a bit too much about this to the point he’s just screamed for me to bloody review it if it’s so damned important to me.
This is pretty good. There’s loads of collaborations here including with Darkstar and Burial but its’ Zomby’s way with a peculiar synth pattern that hits the deadlines. ‘Burst’ is a fine example of how he creates something out of almost nothing, just some squelshy synth rocking back and forth but your ear is on it in a flash. ‘Fly 2’ though could be the early day stand out track with some breathy vocals being thrown across a playground - augmented by the odd but of synth this is about all there is to it. Zomby uses no beats, no other instrumentation but it does it’s job. He’s obviously been listening to his footwork as this has the same unusual spacing. I love it when he slows the track down and it becomes even more yearning. Basically he's fired a sample into a sampler and played it at different speeds... but it works.
The first standard beat (if it can be called such) comes on 'ESP' with a bleating shuffly thing in cased in a lovely string sample. Zomby is particularly playful here. The bouncy ‘Glass’ sounds like some of Uziq’s more skitter compositions whilst the much heralded Burial composition is more footwork this time with added atmosphere. Footwork for a windy night in the park. It’s oddball alienation compares brilliantly with the gorgeous ‘Her’ a series of descending soft synth sounds bringing emotion and fallibility to the record. This is also true of 'SDYF' (with Rezzett) which takes UK garage as a cue to make grainy late night atmospherics that hit you just there (I'm pointing somewhere near my chest).
Overall this is a fascinating disc. Zomby sometimes seems to be just winging it but it’s this less is more approach that pays dividends as the record is pared down to what we love about electronic music, namely ear worm samples and varying synth textures. It veers from crazed video game music to off kilter sampledelics to haunting cinematic soundscapes seemingly without breaking sweat. An impressive return to Hyperdub.
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