Zomby - Dedication

The increasingly elusive Zomby has added another layer of mystique to his ever-changing persona with the release of his latest work, Dedication. His previous album, Where Were You in '92 was a no-holds-barred homage to the rave and hardcore scene of the early 90s. And now, with Dedication, comes a clear change of direction. This kind of flexibility and adventurousness, possibly a reaction to the dubstep tag with which he has been rather woefully bestowed, nevertheless goes some way to repaying fans who have been disappointed by his consistent no-shows at gigs and festivals.

With the album itself, we are presented with a celebration of everything that dubstep isn't; an inverted, carefully crafted deconstruction which thrives in its simplicity and minimalism. And while this may be a signifier for the monastic existence of the bedroom producer, it is no less dance-floor-friendly that '92. Only this time, it is sultry slo-house beats instead of relentlessly aggressive bass-pounding and sirens blaring out every other second.

While it could on one hand be described as a low-key mood piece, Dedication glides effortlessly through its 16 tracks, coming together more as one long opus than a track-by-track album, demanding your undivided attention. Having said this, there are inevitable stand-outs and textural shifts; 'Natalia's Song' is a beautiful, elegiac and organic piece of layered synths and vocals which works as a beautiful introduction for what is to follow. It's just a shame that the majority of the songs on the album are cut and chopped together just when a groove seems be to developing.

Dedication is a record that almost strives not to limit itself to any particular target audience, an apt and charming quality considering Zomby's own intangible spirit. Its darkness and minimalism may draw comparisons with Burial or Panthan du Prince, but it's more beguiling and wonderfully disorientating than both. Only a handful of tracks reach the three-minute mark, thus shaping the album more as an inventive collage, moulding together diverse fragments of grime, house, garage and even a piano ballad. Zomby has created a truly unique album which should be treasured; it's a personal record that stands as a rare insight into his world, shedding a blurred light on his sundry range of influences and tastes.

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