Available on: 4AD EP
Zomby’s Nothing isn’t exactly exciting, but it’s hard to criticize it for that. Clearly designed as a addendum to his Dedication album from earlier this year – which as you’ll doubtless recall, was exciting – its main intention is seemingly to explore and develop themes that have been established as part of Zomby’s musical makeup without really taking centre-stage. If not quite tying up loose ends, it’s certainly shining a light on sub-plots of the Zomby saga to date.
And so we get ‘Digital Fractal’, the latest in a series of delicate, wilting pieces that have traditionally proved highlights of the producer’s catalogue (‘Digital Flora’ and ‘Digital Fauna’ were released as a limited 10″ in 2009, while ‘Digital Rain’ was a standout track from Dedication), and a lot of ruffage. Zomby’s 2008 album, Where Were U In ’92 tributed classic hardcore, and several tracks on Nothing look to jungle for inspiration. ‘Labyrinth’ rolls on gentle breakbeats without ever taking off, while the more memorable ‘Sens’ and ‘Ecstasy Versions’ pack a bit more of a punch, especially when the latter gets flipped on its head after just a minute. ‘Trapdoor’ and ‘It Was All A Dream’, meanwhile, sound 100% like Dedication companion pieces, which given the fact that several of these tracks appeared on the Japanese CD version of the album, they quite possibly were.
When all’s said and done, it’s a companion piece to one of the albums of the year, packaged in a suitably minimal but powerful sleeve (the back features an embossed tribute to – presumably – Zomby’s deceased father). It’s not spectacular, but it was never going to be: for fans of Dedication, it should certainly prove of interest.