Zomboy has been teasing crowds with signs of major growth all year on The Outbreak Tour, and now his first full LP is here to remove all doubt. The Outbreak tests the limits of hybrid theory with a multitude of different styles including dubstep, drum & bass, house and trap. With this album, the UK producer utilizes diversity to cement his place among bass music’s most prolific talent.
The “Nuclear” opener succeeds in hitting a crazy range of styles in continuous motion: deep reggae vocals (made popular by Skrillex on songs like Make It Bun Dem and Ragga Bomb); bouncy, iron-fist bass a la Knife Party; beautiful, melodic interludes; even a last minute drum & bass breakdown. In just over 6 minutes, the track circles the EDM world, flowing between its varied segments with masterful composition. Perhaps Zomboy’s most thorough and comprehensive production yet.
“Outbreak” ft. Armanni Reign combines pinpoint rapping with deep rhythm. The result is a hugely anthemic sound that unifies dubstep and hip hop on one memorable tune. Knife Party vibes continue into “Airborne,” a fast house banger leveled off with a spectacular piano interlude.
Things get weird in “Beast in the Belly.” Spooky, echoed trap resonates as one of the more mystifying music experiences when produced correctly, and Zomboy nailed it here. This dark beat is not just another addition to the wide variety of genres explored on this album, but a highly original piece that stands out among most popular trap today.
“Skull n Bones” pays tribute to AFK, Downlink, and other producers who represent the most savage spectrum of bass music. The energy unleashed in the drop is once again balanced by an ambient segment; an eye of the storm that connects digital fury. “WTF” also taps on this vibe, reverting the formula over to house music for club-melting thrills.
Zomboy treated us to “Survivors!” ft. MUST DIE! earlier in the year. It’s epic and tense, demonstrating how maniacal sound can come to together to form a high impact beat. If the larger concept of The Outbreak is formed around a zombie apocalypse, this track represents the invasion; visceral madness.
“Patient Zero” is an odd number that manages very catchy rhythm among its freeform style. Listeners are treated to an encore presentation of grimy bass in “Immunity” before the record closes like victory music with “Delirium” ft. Rykka. The finale is perhaps the most club-friendly tune over any before it, crowning Zomboy’s efforts in diversifying his music.
Few electronic producers manage to maintain style and focus through the entire length of an LP, but The Outbreak signals a bar-raising effort by Zomboy. The album is gushing with unique production and depth; easily among the very best we’ve heard this year.