ZOMBYDEDICATIONORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: JULY 11TH 20111YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #17Dedication is the second full-length release from camera-shy producer Zomby and his first for spearhead indie label 4AD. At first it scans as somewhat peculiar for Zomby to enroll with 4AD given their inclination for emotive guitar heros (Bon Iver, Iron & Wine) and kooky, freak-folk experimentalists (Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, tUnE-yArDs, Gang Gang Dance) yet Dedication possesses a deeply personal and intimate approach to UK bass and dub. This is not ambient or even dance-oriented music in the slightest in spite of his previous recordings. Dedication is never welcoming, warm or friendly. Holding its arm only slightly askew, it’s the kind of bold record that never really centers in on one particular idea and sticks with it. Quite literally scattered all over the place and travelling in brief, all too often sparse configurations, Zomby’s approach to his major label debut is tinged with the sadness of the passing of his father a year previously. Even with statements being released from Zomby’s camp insisting that the recording of Dedication was most definitely not affected by the artist’s reaction to his father’s death, it’s difficult to view its stark and loner-mood as anything but. Its wonderfully ominous atmospherics and digital effects enhance the listening experience, and it greatly benefits from this mood as a consequence. Dedication is brief, yet it packs sixteen heavy punches across its thirty five minute run time, a couple of which run beyond four minutes, three that scan less than sixty seconds and most of which fall somewhere around the two minute mark. Would-be lead single Natalia’s Song is the longest track here and perhaps the most arresting, trading choppy female vocals over a stuttering backbeat. This transforms itself into the similarly scatty percussive and synth-led Alothea with its creeping 8-bit nostalgia trip, before tearing head first down a kaleidoscopic tunnel of keyboards on Black Orchid. The hammering gun shots that pepper the opening of the record on Witch Hunt signal the opening to Things Fall Apart, which features guest vocals from Noah Lennox. It’s interesting to place Panda Bear in this somewhat downbeat mood that Dedication maintains as he registers almost (uncharacteristically) beyond recognition. I’m still at odds as to whether it works within the context of the record as a whole. Lucifer scans as early rave while other instrumentals like Digital Rain proliferate around centralised dance beats fused with effects reminiscent of early Nintendo and PlayStation soundtracks, music designed to evoke only one atmosphere and to encourage the kind of repetitious brain activity that stems from minimal arrangements. If that sounds like an insult as much as a complement, it’s to Zomby’s credit that Dedication never scans as mere background music.In the year since its release, Dedication has been called lots of things, and the notion of Zomby’s sound as a sort of inverted take on hip-hop was perhaps the most intriguing. Since it traverses many sub-genres to create something wholly unique, it’s best to approach it at pure face value. What first comes across as difficult and disembodied soon unfolds to reveal a plethora of textures and emotions. Dedication offers little in the way of answers, particularly for those seeking a voice to explain Zomby’s expanding palette of gloomy sinisterness, yet repeated listens prove incredibly rewarding and those with an ear for stark atmosphere will find plenty to explore here. There are few producers working at this level, and next to none who deserve the kind of impending success that Zomby seems destined for.

ZOMBY
DEDICATION

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: JULY 11TH 2011

1YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #17


Dedication is the second full-length release from camera-shy producer Zomby and his first for spearhead indie label 4AD. At first it scans as somewhat peculiar for Zomby to enroll with 4AD given their inclination for emotive guitar heros (Bon Iver, Iron & Wine) and kooky, freak-folk experimentalists (Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, tUnE-yArDs, Gang Gang Dance) yet Dedication possesses a deeply personal and intimate approach to UK bass and dub. This is not ambient or even dance-oriented music in the slightest in spite of his previous recordings. Dedication is never welcoming, warm or friendly. Holding its arm only slightly askew, it’s the kind of bold record that never really centers in on one particular idea and sticks with it. Quite literally scattered all over the place and travelling in brief, all too often sparse configurations, Zomby’s approach to his major label debut is tinged with the sadness of the passing of his father a year previously. Even with statements being released from Zomby’s camp insisting that the recording of Dedication was most definitely not affected by the artist’s reaction to his father’s death, it’s difficult to view its stark and loner-mood as anything but. Its wonderfully ominous atmospherics and digital effects enhance the listening experience, and it greatly benefits from this mood as a consequence. 


Dedication is brief, yet it packs sixteen heavy punches across its thirty five minute run time, a couple of which run beyond four minutes, three that scan less than sixty seconds and most of which fall somewhere around the two minute mark. Would-be lead single Natalia’s Song is the longest track here and perhaps the most arresting, trading choppy female vocals over a stuttering backbeat. This transforms itself into the similarly scatty percussive and synth-led Alothea with its creeping 8-bit nostalgia trip, before tearing head first down a kaleidoscopic tunnel of keyboards on Black Orchid. The hammering gun shots that pepper the opening of the record on Witch Hunt signal the opening to Things Fall Apart, which features guest vocals from Noah Lennox. It’s interesting to place Panda Bear in this somewhat downbeat mood that Dedication maintains as he registers almost (uncharacteristically) beyond recognition. I’m still at odds as to whether it works within the context of the record as a whole. Lucifer scans as early rave while other instrumentals like Digital Rain proliferate around centralised dance beats fused with effects reminiscent of early Nintendo and PlayStation soundtracks, music designed to evoke only one atmosphere and to encourage the kind of repetitious brain activity that stems from minimal arrangements. If that sounds like an insult as much as a complement, it’s to Zomby’s credit that Dedication never scans as mere background music.


In the year since its release, Dedication has been called lots of things, and the notion of Zomby’s sound as a sort of inverted take on hip-hop was perhaps the most intriguing. Since it traverses many sub-genres to create something wholly unique, it’s best to approach it at pure face value. What first comes across as difficult and disembodied soon unfolds to reveal a plethora of textures and emotions. Dedication offers little in the way of answers, particularly for those seeking a voice to explain Zomby’s expanding palette of gloomy sinisterness, yet repeated listens prove incredibly rewarding and those with an ear for stark atmosphere will find plenty to explore here. There are few producers working at this level, and next to none who deserve the kind of impending success that Zomby seems destined for.

ZOMBYDEDICATIONORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: JULY 11TH 20111YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #17Dedication is the second full-length release from camera-shy producer Zomby and his first for spearhead indie label 4AD. At first it scans as somewhat peculiar for Zomby to enroll with 4AD given their inclination for emotive guitar heros (Bon Iver, Iron & Wine) and kooky, freak-folk experimentalists (Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, tUnE-yArDs, Gang Gang Dance) yet Dedication possesses a deeply personal and intimate approach to UK bass and dub. This is not ambient or even dance-oriented music in the slightest in spite of his previous recordings. Dedication is never welcoming, warm or friendly. Holding its arm only slightly askew, it’s the kind of bold record that never really centers in on one particular idea and sticks with it. Quite literally scattered all over the place and travelling in brief, all too often sparse configurations, Zomby’s approach to his major label debut is tinged with the sadness of the passing of his father a year previously. Even with statements being released from Zomby’s camp insisting that the recording of Dedication was most definitely not affected by the artist’s reaction to his father’s death, it’s difficult to view its stark and loner-mood as anything but. Its wonderfully ominous atmospherics and digital effects enhance the listening experience, and it greatly benefits from this mood as a consequence. Dedication is brief, yet it packs sixteen heavy punches across its thirty five minute run time, a couple of which run beyond four minutes, three that scan less than sixty seconds and most of which fall somewhere around the two minute mark. Would-be lead single Natalia’s Song is the longest track here and perhaps the most arresting, trading choppy female vocals over a stuttering backbeat. This transforms itself into the similarly scatty percussive and synth-led Alothea with its creeping 8-bit nostalgia trip, before tearing head first down a kaleidoscopic tunnel of keyboards on Black Orchid. The hammering gun shots that pepper the opening of the record on Witch Hunt signal the opening to Things Fall Apart, which features guest vocals from Noah Lennox. It’s interesting to place Panda Bear in this somewhat downbeat mood that Dedication maintains as he registers almost (uncharacteristically) beyond recognition. I’m still at odds as to whether it works within the context of the record as a whole. Lucifer scans as early rave while other instrumentals like Digital Rain proliferate around centralised dance beats fused with effects reminiscent of early Nintendo and PlayStation soundtracks, music designed to evoke only one atmosphere and to encourage the kind of repetitious brain activity that stems from minimal arrangements. If that sounds like an insult as much as a complement, it’s to Zomby’s credit that Dedication never scans as mere background music.In the year since its release, Dedication has been called lots of things, and the notion of Zomby’s sound as a sort of inverted take on hip-hop was perhaps the most intriguing. Since it traverses many sub-genres to create something wholly unique, it’s best to approach it at pure face value. What first comes across as difficult and disembodied soon unfolds to reveal a plethora of textures and emotions. Dedication offers little in the way of answers, particularly for those seeking a voice to explain Zomby’s expanding palette of gloomy sinisterness, yet repeated listens prove incredibly rewarding and those with an ear for stark atmosphere will find plenty to explore here. There are few producers working at this level, and next to none who deserve the kind of impending success that Zomby seems destined for.

ZOMBY
DEDICATION

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: JULY 11TH 2011

1YRON’S TOP 52 RECORDS OF 2011 RANKING: #17


Dedication is the second full-length release from camera-shy producer Zomby and his first for spearhead indie label 4AD. At first it scans as somewhat peculiar for Zomby to enroll with 4AD given their inclination for emotive guitar heros (Bon Iver, Iron & Wine) and kooky, freak-folk experimentalists (Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, tUnE-yArDs, Gang Gang Dance) yet Dedication possesses a deeply personal and intimate approach to UK bass and dub. This is not ambient or even dance-oriented music in the slightest in spite of his previous recordings. Dedication is never welcoming, warm or friendly. Holding its arm only slightly askew, it’s the kind of bold record that never really centers in on one particular idea and sticks with it. Quite literally scattered all over the place and travelling in brief, all too often sparse configurations, Zomby’s approach to his major label debut is tinged with the sadness of the passing of his father a year previously. Even with statements being released from Zomby’s camp insisting that the recording of Dedication was most definitely not affected by the artist’s reaction to his father’s death, it’s difficult to view its stark and loner-mood as anything but. Its wonderfully ominous atmospherics and digital effects enhance the listening experience, and it greatly benefits from this mood as a consequence. 


Dedication is brief, yet it packs sixteen heavy punches across its thirty five minute run time, a couple of which run beyond four minutes, three that scan less than sixty seconds and most of which fall somewhere around the two minute mark. Would-be lead single Natalia’s Song is the longest track here and perhaps the most arresting, trading choppy female vocals over a stuttering backbeat. This transforms itself into the similarly scatty percussive and synth-led Alothea with its creeping 8-bit nostalgia trip, before tearing head first down a kaleidoscopic tunnel of keyboards on Black Orchid. The hammering gun shots that pepper the opening of the record on Witch Hunt signal the opening to Things Fall Apart, which features guest vocals from Noah Lennox. It’s interesting to place Panda Bear in this somewhat downbeat mood that Dedication maintains as he registers almost (uncharacteristically) beyond recognition. I’m still at odds as to whether it works within the context of the record as a whole. Lucifer scans as early rave while other instrumentals like Digital Rain proliferate around centralised dance beats fused with effects reminiscent of early Nintendo and PlayStation soundtracks, music designed to evoke only one atmosphere and to encourage the kind of repetitious brain activity that stems from minimal arrangements. If that sounds like an insult as much as a complement, it’s to Zomby’s credit that Dedication never scans as mere background music.


In the year since its release, Dedication has been called lots of things, and the notion of Zomby’s sound as a sort of inverted take on hip-hop was perhaps the most intriguing. Since it traverses many sub-genres to create something wholly unique, it’s best to approach it at pure face value. What first comes across as difficult and disembodied soon unfolds to reveal a plethora of textures and emotions. Dedication offers little in the way of answers, particularly for those seeking a voice to explain Zomby’s expanding palette of gloomy sinisterness, yet repeated listens prove incredibly rewarding and those with an ear for stark atmosphere will find plenty to explore here. There are few producers working at this level, and next to none who deserve the kind of impending success that Zomby seems destined for.

Posted 2 years ago

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1YRON aims to shine the spotlight on albums exactly one year after their release. Presented as an alternative to writing about them instantaneously, I hope to recall the album in question with a fondness of time having passed. Perhaps you may even be inspired to go back and discover something new.

Since physical and digital release dates often vary worldwide (the US commonly a day after the UK for example, or for smaller releases, sometimes weeks or months apart), these reviews will only be published on their UK or US physical release date (whichever comes first).

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