Review: Zomby – With Love
Published on July 22nd, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Zomby’s third album With Love is a disturbed, bad trip of a record that’s just about immersive enough to quell all thoughts of basing this review around his enigmatic persona and, er, ‘eye-opening’ Twitter account.
The London producer lays on quite the array of beats here – there’s that shuffling Amen break on “It’s Time”, the Squarepushed (oh yes) drum ‘n’ bassery of “Overdose”, the clunky ‘square wheel’ groove of “Quickening” – but only sporadically are these plied with anything decorative enough to punctuate the pervading darkness.
Occasionally the edgy production is decorated with crystalline twinkly bits, presenting us with the aural equivalent of a ruby-encrusted coal mine, one also inhabited by ethereally detached vocal samples and pangs of felty synth bass.
Dubbily (it’s a word now) lysergic ‘echo chatter’ (it’s a phrase now) enters the fray as With Love wears on, combining well with some monotone, insistent sort of horn sound on”VI-XI”; this is all backed up with a rattling, pulsing rhythm section that sounds to us somehow like an adder DJing funky house.
We wouldn’t blame you if you stopped reading there.
“How to Ascend” wields juddering waves of synth pad that might feel ravey in isolation but get stuck in a post-dubstep sort of mire. We could go on but our weird-to-the-point-of-unhelpful descriptions would be as relentless as the stream of otherworldly downers that makes up With Love.
There’s something pretty darn sinister about the music of Zomby; but then, with such a pseudonym, it would be a dereliction of duty for this not to be the case.
Listen to With Love late at night, perhaps alone. Might as well get those nightmares out of your system before your head hits the pillow.
With Love is out now on 4AD.
Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!