Thursday, September 01, 2016
Scheduled for release via Hyperdub on September 2nd, 2016 is "Ultra", the fourth album crafted by Bass Music producer Zomby who left his first big mark on the scene with his praised 2008 longplay debut "Where Were You In '92?" on Werkdiscs. Interestingly the label decided not to release any additional info on the press release sheet apart from the albums thirteen-track containing track listing and so we're diving straight into the iridiscent cascades of glittering synth lines in the opener "Reflection", groove along to the super stripped down beats of "Burst" which follows a similar path musically whilst "Fly 2", a collaboration with Banshee, somewhat touches base with both PostGarage and yearning Future R'n'B in an atmospheric, slightly Burial'esque manner. With "E.S.P." we're slowly entering drama introducing Future Grime territories depending on a well-interesting combination of obvious riddims and a creeping background 4/4, "I" relies on a calm, chiming motif, off kilter string sweeps and a solemn, inward looking feel and "Glass" takes us straight onto the dancefloor with straight uptempo beats, crystalline layers of modulations and slightly early 90s Detroit vibe before Zomby & Burial join forces in the dark'ish, tension-inducing "Sweetz" which, although clearly Post UK Bass-focused, comes across as Chicago Basement-influenced due to the dry, repetetive use of the 'Get Me Fucked Up' vocal sample. Following up is "Her", a pretty beautiful tune covering classic Electronica / ChillOut territories before "Quandary, a collaborational effort with Darkstar which could be filed under the Fatima Al Qadiri-coined flag of SinoGrime due to its specific, kinda Asian-sounding aestethics, triggers the synapses of those longing for complex beat abstractions. "Freeze" brings in 137 seconds of crimescene madness with an early 80s B-movie twist soundwise which finds its seamless continuation in "Yeti", a tune that can be seen as "Freeze Pt. 2" if one wants to put it like that. The next collaborational joint is "S.D.Y.F." which sees Zomby and Rezett doing their thing, delivering a distorted and worn-out version of old early 90s Breakbeat / Proto Jungle which sounds like taken off a cassette tape played a gazillion times before whilst the closing tune "Thaw" pleases all those loving their organic, floating Ambient to the max and provides a sweet ending for a quite diverse album that offers interesting bits and bops for a wide range of electronic music aficionados.