Modern Love finally issue Zomby's Mercury Beats, his attempt at re-imagining Wiley's Eskibeat series of releases. Made a while ago while his body clock was all out of whack, the pieces are methodical and rhythmic takes on grime that if released at the time may have shifted the course of grime. We think that is what the press release is saying but you can never be sure.
7/10 Ant Staff review, 29 November 2017
Here’s Zomby’s homage to, and re-imagining of the pioneering Eskibeat sound created by Grime Godfather Wiley. The influence across the sixteen tracks is clear to hear, yet ‘Mercury’s Rainbow’ is still unmistakably a Zomby album - refracting Wiley’s template through his own laser/rave/hardcore/bleep prism with a gleaming, futuristic sound palette.
Apparently recorded during an “intense two week period”, the tracks feel skeletal and spacious enough for an MC to ride but are intricate enough to be enjoyed as instrumental Grime. In true Zomby style, many are pretty short and similar - as though once he’s achieved what he wants with that particular track he’d rather continue and explore the theme on a new tune rather than constantly refining them. Which is pretty much what’s happening across the album - the same signature sounds crop up throughout - particularly the vocal sample which means it can get pretty samey if you’re listening to the album in full. But these are supposed to be permutations, each with its own energy and movement, so if you’re a DJ that just wants to reach for the odd tune, then there’s plenty to get stuck into.
The track durations mean you’d better have quick mixing skills, or the needle will be in the runout grooves before you know it.
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