Hyperdub grip the best Zomby gear in ages with Ultra - including guest spots by Burial, Banshee, Darkstar, Dream Catalogue’s Hong Kong Express and TTT’s Rezzett.
Switching back to the site of his best early gear after flirting with 4AD, Zomby’s 4th LP of cubist ‘nuum tessellation is ultra-violet, ultra-hooligan, ultra-encrypted in a way that only he can do; isolating the potent parts of grime, R&B and ‘ardcore thru a hazy, red-eyed lense of vaporous electronics to shape and feel out one of the most enigmatic chapters in his ever twisting saga.
All the hallmarks of his sound are clear and present, but here sculpted and stitched with a closer attention to tailoring, layering and shape that belies his years in the game and the distance he’s willing to deviate from his UK-centric vision, which hems as firmly as he’s ever done to ice cold touchstones of street-rave couture and skizzed-out hyperscally aesthetics.
Where With Love gushed and sprawled, Ultra is like its pinched, screwfaced come-down, cycling from the cascading sci-fi bleeps and foreboding female vocal in Reflection to a sodden conclusion with Tenkyuu, fading in and out of its 14 cuts with a film editor’s sleight of hand or anime storyteller’s framing learnt from too many late nights in a haze of green and locked to the glow of a screen.
And when we say UK, we mean it in the way that any smart cxnt knows: that British music is deeply syncretic, magpie; picking and choosing from anywhere it likes to sate a need for newness, rufige, romance, madness - all at once - as well worn in the mixture of gothic Belgian and London-Jamaican tones with Burst or the US/UK binds of Fly 2, and the cyber dimensions with the stepping string ciphers of E.S.P., whilst his Sweetz link-up with Burial feels to blend road level US, South American and UK flexes with beguiling, transcendent style.