Key Tracks: Disc 1 – “Overdose,” “777”
Disc 2- “How to Ascend,” “With Love”
Zomby is a solo electronic musician, and “With Love,” his third album, finds him exploring brief ideas and a mid-90’s influence. The album, almost entirely instrumental, is largely compromised of minimalistic hip-hop beats. The album feels like hip-hop with the vocals. The album is two discs, separated by emotions. Disc One is “rough,” and features seventeen blasts of party-dreaming hip-hop beats, begging to be freestyled over. There is a certain roughness to this album, largely in the transitions between ideas. Most tracks do not end, but abruptly cut to the next in a rough transition. And although it is minimalistic, it has a certain heaviness to it. Disc One feels like it was made after a binge on dirty 90’s hip-hop, and it is successfully reminiscent of it.
Disc Two is “contemplative,” although there is not a sharp departure from Disc One. It is still minimalistic electronica, just a little more hushed-down. This album is sixteen tracks, not seventeen, showing that each idea still ends just as it becomes old. The average length of a song on either album hovers around two minutes. If I recall, there is only one track with vocals on this album, compared to two on the first disc. This album lacks the party grab, which was intentional. But when the music is quick bursts of what is largely background music, it starts to border on unnecessary. Still, it makes for something to put on in the background when you’re going about your day. Zomby’s stuff might be exactly what you’ve been hearing for years, and it feels pointless at times. But it is an enjoyable listen, for parties or guilty pleasure.
If you like this, try: Disclosure’s debut “Settle,” more minimalistic electronic that’s perfect for parties.
-By Andrew McNally