Being the latest high-profile dubstep producer isn’t easy. Despite his relative anonymity, East London artist Zomby has unwittingly managed to become a man of the moment. It’s a high-pressure situation, but he seems undaunted by the high bar of history, making music that goes to playful, indulgent extremes.
Acclaimed for a series of singles with stinging bass lines, choppy melodies, and a lo-fi horror vibe, Zomby has also gone retro with the hyperactive Where Were You in ’92?. A love letter to early rave culture, it brims with hardcore beats, air horns, and bright piano lines that unabashedly celebrate the past while making nods to the future.
Tracks like “Spliff Dub” open with gently looping vocal samples, before being upended by a tweaked, mutant bass line. “Bubble Bobble” shuffles by with effervescent clusters of 8-bit beats, and “Strange Fruit” is a mid-tempo workout with a crunchy melody and bass that hits like howitzers. While many dubsteppers are making tracks with snaking bass lines that float and bob like a firefly on codeine, Zomby is putting his own signature on low-end sound.