It has only been five short months since London-based producer Zomby released Dedication, an LP that was as nocturnal as it was genre-bending. A far cry from the producer's standard dance-heavy tracks, the haunting soulfulness of tracks like “Witch Hunt” and “Natalia’s Song” set the stage for a dark album that surprised listeners. However, this seemed to be a welcome surprise for many: you can truly hear the dedication that went into creating such a rich album. With the release of his latest seven-song EP Nothing, Zomby reaches back to his roots to create something far more reminiscent of his back catalog than his most recent LP release.
Brilliant tracks like “Labyrinth” and “Sens” do a fine job of tapping into the 90s aesthetic on display in Zomby’s 2008 release Where Were U in ’92?. Both albums are perfect for the dimly lit dance floors of rave culture, thanks in part to the use of the “amen break” on a number of tracks. Made popular at the height of the British rave scene in the 90s, this four-bar sample was widely used by a number of producers and DJs before worming its way into mainstream radio spots and TV commercials. Zomby’s use of the break is one that is dignified -- and at times, hard to spot.
While many tracks pay tribute to Zomby’s pre-Dedication sound, “Digital Fractals" rippled oceanic beats make it seem as though it could have been a track on his most recent LP. However, with the similar compressed drum rhythms and arcade-like blips of late track “Stargate 5”, "Fractal" adds a depth to the album that might not exist otherwise. There's nothing particularly new about Nothing's sound (partly because of the large step the UK producer took with Dedication), but the album proves a fine bridge between Dedication and Where Were U in ’92?. If anything, this EP is a fine listen for those unfamiliar with Zomby’s previous work as a producer its a perfect palette cleanser for those who miss his old rave-ready vibe on Dedication.