A surprise stream popped up this morning of Zomby's hugely anticipated 4AD debut, Dedication, to be released in early July. It's been two years since his last EP, the 8-bit arpeggio bible One Foot Ahead of the Other, a record that deftly captured the weird proto-arcade sound of the time as much as it killed it forever. Dedication sounds nothing like that album. It doesn't sound exactly like any of Zomby's previous releases, but isn't an abandonment of old Zomby as much as it's a refining, capturing all the best angles. Dedication's his prettiest release to date, but there are some harsher tracks—"Black Orchid" features deft use of One Foot's trademark C64 synth, "Vortex" sounds like dying in the ship from Alien, "Things Fall Apart" with Noah Lennox starts with a gunshot. There's a good number of restrained, low-key tracks too, more evocative of moonlight than lasers. "Basquiat" is just a solo piano, "Salamander" reads like something to swim to, "Florence" hints at ’90s rave but really relishes in simple steel drums. Trying to wrap our breakfast-brains around its 16 (!!) tracks feels like trying to juggle a career's worth of records and point the gems out in the air. But if Dedication is as perfectly balanced as it seems now, maybe dude just made his masterpiece.
Photographer Leonie Purchas