ZOMBY - GASP!
Zomby records are divisive. He likes to stir the pot in ways the public tends to fall for, turning to comment threads to argue about whether he's a visionary or a troll. On GASP!, he provokes us yet again with straightforward techno, though it's not without its eccentricities. He has dipped into 4/4 before, most memorably on the Let's Jam 1 EP from 2015, but it sounded disingenuous. (Or, as Andrew Ryce put it, like a "stylistic exercise.") GASP! has more of Zomby. It retains the aloof flamboyance that's become his calling card—even if that aloofness can sometimes resemble laziness.
The title track is a grubby big-room techno track that would be better off without such drastic sidechaining. It's mostly just a simple loop punctuated by sudden increases in volume, off-tempo echo effects and drums that seem to overload their compressors. "ZKITTLEZ," the highlight, could almost be an Actress track, with its tilted machine-funk swing and thick, crunchy contours. It's one of the most approachable dance floor tracks in Zomby's catalogue, even with the many layers of dirt and compression. "ZPRITE" has the softest touch of all three, with a fog-machine ambience and an easygoing downtempo gait. GASP! is an interesting direction for Zomby, and perhaps a worthwhile sound to explore in depth, but it won't be remembered as a highlight.
A1 Gasp! 4:31
A2 Zkittlez 4:47
B Zprite 5:39