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Zomby: Dedication [Digipak]

Track List

>Witch Hunt
>Natalia's Song
>Black Orchid
>Riding with Death
>Things Fall Apart
>Digital Rain
>Devil Lay Here, A

Album Reviews:

Spin (p.80) - "Its grace is in its consistency, never asking too much or staying too long."

Q (Magazine) (p.127) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[W]ith minimal bleeps and glacial synth melodies....[T]here's a Burial-esque radiance to 'Natalia's Song'..."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The pervading mood of DEDICATION is oppressive and borderline paranoid, but it makes for wonderfully innovative, state-of-the-art urban electronica."

Pitchfork (Website) - "[M]aybe call it Zomby's private reels made public, an audio sketchbook filled up with haunted miniatures..."

Clash (magazine) - "'Natalia's Song' is a dubstep wrench of the heart..."

Uncut (magazine) (p.107) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Zomby manages to summon a uniquely unsettling atmosphere."

Album Notes

Titled in reference to Zomby's father, who passed away during its completion, Dedication can be taken simply as another release from the enigmatic producer. From 2007 through 2009, Zomby issued a deeply concentrated yet somewhat whimsical blast of singles and EPs on Ramp, Hyperdub, and Brainmath. He also released an album of breakbeat rave-not-rave on Werk Discs, the label operated by the equally hard to classify producer Actress. His next move, then, could have gone in a number of different directions without being the least bit startling. On the other hand, Dedication is something of an event. After that flurry of activity, Zomby was mostly silent throughout 2010, so there was some suspense, and it intensified once news broke of his contract with 4AD. Furthermore, this is the producer's most subdued and melodic set of tracks, in addition to his most developed work, despite keeping it as succinct (16 tracks, 35 minutes) as ever. It's accessible to listeners who cannot be bothered to discern the differences and similarities between dubstep, wonky, and bass, yet it's all too detailed and moving to be heard as some form of artistic compromise. A handful of the most effective productions are closer to liquid dancehall than his 2008 track of the same name, offering amiable bashment with plinking keyboards over slippery beats. Two of the most emotive Zomby tracks come with the hallucinatory "Natalia's Song," featuring softly jutting vocal samples from a female Russian vocalist, and "Basquiat," a pensive piano-and-string-drone piece. Although it wasn't the intent, they're more in the spirit of old-school 4AD -- Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil, the Hope Blister -- than the majority of the label's releases across the past ten years. The technicolor pellets over rat-a-tat snares return through "Things Fall Apart," featuring a disjointed vocal from Panda Bear (the album's only misstep), and the cycling "Mozaik," which abruptly cuts off, and ends Dedication, shortly after the three-minute mark. Whether this is a one-off or a bridge to something more substantial, it's satisfying in the present and will likely increase in stature as years pass. ~ Andy Kellman


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