Zomby (4AD, Hyperdub / London) in NYC + New Album ‘Dedication’ – Listen & Learn

[Listen to "Natalia's Song" from Zomby's new album Dedication out now on 4AD]

Zomby played at Glasslands in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (10.01.11) — Did you go?  Please leave a comment below if so.

People often talk about dubstep as if it were a genre that simply relied on familiar sonic and compositional constructs like most others. It’s true that even in its pre-Skrillex days there were certain signifiers and trite motifs that compromised the bulk of it. But greatness is rare, and so that’s not the fault of the genre. Yet there were so many artists that came up through the scene who only touched on its foundations, preferring to work in its fringes – or even make music that could not be categorized by any genre other than electronic. And it was an ethic within dubstep that encouraged and celebrated such acts. It’s true that someone could be criticized for only looking to artists within a certain social scene such as this. But the creation of a culture that encourages that type of uniqueness is much more than a genre.

[Zomby -"Test Me For A Reason" | Hyperdub, 2008]

Zomby is one example of an artist who benefited from that movement, but whose work is much more than genre music. Sure, a lot of his records were undeniably dubstep. This is particularly true of his early 12 inches which featured that muscular bass and half step smash. But even there they featured an individualist agenda of pixelated gloopiness that identified him as Zomby better than his face ever could, should he choose to reveal it. But then look at his EPs and albums from that time. They hark back to his love of early rave and take on other influences as much as they do from dubstep.

[Zomby - "Digital Fauna" | Brainmath, 2009]

So really, it’s more accurate to call him an electronic music producer than any other type. That said, it’s not entirely genreless. And like the bulk of electronic music, his sound is often very loopy. Even when it presents a narrative progression, that’s usually overwhelmed by a thematic repetition that looms much larger than the subtle complexities. But this isn’t always the case. And even when it is, it remains powerful, unique, and emotive. - MS