Zomby, The Lie

[Ramp Recordings]

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Zomby sees himself as part of the undead but with a taste for skunk weed instead of flesh. He is a resolutely anonymous producer whose publicity photo has few clues into his identity: he wears white gloves and a mask of the all-seeing eye of providence. Zomby’s been banned from dubstep forums, infamous for missing gigs and has no small legion of fans who’ll call him a cock while still admiring his tunes. And 2008 was big for Zomby tunes. Starting with “Mush,” his 8-bit mourn of a debut for Hyperdub, Zomby has since dropped two wonky bombs with his “Liquid Dancehall” single and debut album, Where Were U in ’92? As much as electronic music likes to micro-manage it’s sub-genres, Zomby diversifies his portfolio as much as possible. Witness the range on his upcoming self-titled EP — shotgun burbles of “Aquafresh” rub next to the woeful Burial sighs of “Test Me for a Reason.”

“The Lie” was Zomby’s second single for Ramp Recordings in 2008, and unsurprisingly, it sounds nothing like his first. Instead of fluorescent melodies, “The Lie” is built around a cement-rubbed drone, roughed up and buzzing. Drums might pop and explode like other half-step producers (a la Skream) but there’s none of the cool functionalism — the pummeling is all inward. Taking a Ricky L. sample that oscillates between teen angst and Jah anomy (“I was born in a system / that doesn’t give a fuck about me”), the vocals are treated with a sheen of delay and rebuilt around a series of clipped hiccups and hyahs. There’s something uncanny about how the track operates: it circles around like a vulture, picking apart the vocal sample until there’s nothing left. The L.V. remix, then, is wise to focus on the drums, adding large waves of delay which rock the track like a ship. The single is rounded out nicely by “Dripping Like Water,” which is built on a staircase bass line, melodica and the wheeze of an old record talking about water. A series of compelling contrasts, “The Lie” continues Zomby’s skunk-fueled trudge across aesthetics and offers perhaps his most affecting single of 2008.

Krul  on January 7, 2009 at 4:56 AM

original is 10x better… pretty uninspired remix if you ask me.

brendon moeller  on January 7, 2009 at 6:43 AM

dropped the original mix on monday at deep space. massive track!

Sam  on January 7, 2009 at 11:23 AM

Oh yeah! This is a Killa’ track…

mensa  on January 9, 2009 at 12:40 PM

loving this track, genius sample! http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=oduecCCocNU
the lv remix is also mega, so deep..

petepete  on January 12, 2009 at 2:44 AM

I guess you found this on that list of XLR8R free tracks. Really good tune this, love the sample.

littlewhiteearbuds  on January 12, 2009 at 8:34 AM

Review published: Jan. 6
XLR8R feature: Jan. 7

We are in the know.

Ardevan  on January 21, 2009 at 3:44 PM

Anyone care to qualify the relationship between this track


and Zomby’s? The Zomby production is amazing, but these two do seem awfully close…

littlewhiteearbuds  on January 21, 2009 at 5:59 PM

Zomby is pretty notorious for sampling old ‘ardkore records, as his entire album reworks old rave samples etc. The record you linked to is much more house-y than I would have expected. Notable that it’s definitely not Sizzla he sampled.

dave  on March 4, 2009 at 3:15 PM

it’s this track he samples…

samples pretty heavily really..
the track on the other side is decent though/

petepete  on March 12, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Zomby’s mix is WAY better than the original

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