Zomby: “With Love”

By | August 21, 2013 at 10:41 pm | No comments | Albums, MUSIC | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Artist: Zomby
Album: With Love
Released: June 17, 2013

If you follow Zomby via the interwebs and are familiar with his notorious online persona, his latest effort, “With Love,” will strike you in much the same way: sleek, mysterious, alluring, but hard to stay in tune with.

It is his most substantial release to date. It at first seems to pick up where his funereal 2011 album, Dedication, left off, but proceeds down an even darker and fragmented path. In essence, it is a double-disc of lonely and darkly post-industrial computer tunes. If computers had emotions, this is the blues they’d sing.

While with this project, he’s established perhaps his most cohesive core sound palette – soprano-pitched tremolos, tinny drums and gloomy, ominous strings – it’s also his most puzzling compilation. A majority of the tracks are two and a half minutes or less and end as abruptly as they begin. Throughout Disc 1, he schizophrenically shifts from neo-gothic, 8-bit chiptune (“As Darkness Falls”), to computer-coated jungle breakbeat (“Overdose”), to his signature style of garage-esque UK Eski grime (“Pray for Me”). But subtly, the lack of cohesion between the movements of each track gets overcast by their similarity in sound. It’s a strange phenomenon. Technically, it’s an all over the place listen, but sonically, much of the songs don’t sound too different. They’re all draped in the same cloak of melancholy.

Disc 2, overall, is much more cohesive than the first. Ornate trap with booming, stuttering drums and fluttering liquid melodies pretty much laces the whole thing. “Soliloquy” is its climax and perhaps the whole album’s standout track. But where Disc 2 trumps Disc 1 in being easier to follow, it falls into the same trap of lacking a significant variety of sound. While the entire album has diverse moments that convey Zomby at his best, it’s easy to get lost in a daze to it’s vast and gray comprehensiveness.

In all, “With Love” is a fitting reflection of the artist behind it: all over the place, decorated with grand statements as well as intimate introspection… but with a strange gloomy mask over it all. It is either his greatest opus, showcasing all of the elements that make-up his particular expressionism, or just a rambling compilation of all his latest work.

Regardless, what’s obvious is he’s doing whatever it is that he wants to.
With the music industry so saturated with carbon-copy creativity, this defiant output from such a unique artist is virtuous and refreshing in and of itself.

Check it out and see what you dig.

Peace gods.

-Absent Avery

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