Zomby raises the bar for dubstep on ‘With Love’

Album review: Zomby – ‘With Love’

Zomby – With Love
4AD
★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

The remarkable thing about With Love isn’t that U.K. producer Zomby managed to find a double-album’s worth of good ideas in dubstep and drum ’n’ bass, but that he apparently found them all so fast that he didn’t bother fully fleshing most of them out. The cuts on this dense, dark and defiantly disjointed 33-track set are remarkably free of contextual continuity, shifting from handclap ravers to molar-rattling low-end excursions, from glitchy weirdness to shimmering ambience, sometimes as fragments or half-songs that just end (or fade out), and sometimes as perfectionist constructions. While some artists view The Double Album as an opportunity to make a Very Important and Maybe Incomprehensible Statement, it seems that Zomby just said, “OK, here’s all the cool shit I’ve been working on. I put the songs in alphabetical order. You figure the rest out.” It’s an appropriate approach for an artist with more in common with soundscape sketchers like Durutti Column than with the bass-droppers who hog his genre’s headlines.

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