Zomby has revamped and mutated numerous forms of underground club music, from vintage hardcore techno and drum'n'bass of the '90s to early grime and dubstep, trap, and footwork of the ensuing decades in which he has been active. Though song publishing attributed Zomby compositions to Justin Moulds, the identity of the enigmatic producer was otherwise shielded from the public. The first press photo displayed him in ninja clothing with a cardboard Eye of Providence covering his visage -- an image he joked about procuring from an Internet image search -- and his face was masked or otherwise obscured afterward. Nevertheless, his earliest releases garnered a cult following that only grew with his releases on revered and diverse independents such as Kode9's Hyperdub, Actress' Werkdiscs, 4AD, and XL.
Filled with brisk breakbeats, racing pianos, wobbling basslines, and air horns galore, the Werkdiscs release Where Were U in 92? (2008) paid tribute to rave's peak. Though tapes were the artist's only connection to the subculture until 1993, the set was all clued-in jubilance. The jittery One Foot Ahead of the Other (2009) incorporated colorful 8-bit sounds. Zomby then signed to 4AD, where he released the melodically rich album Dedication and the EP Nothing (both 2011), and then the expansive double-disc With Love (2013). After a pair of four-track EPs for XL (2015), he released an album for early supporter Hyperdub, Ultra (2016), featuring collaborations with Burial and Darkstar, among others. Gasp! (2017), a three-track EP, followed on Big Dada. Months later, the Modern Love label issued the album Mercury's Rainbow (also 2017), a brittle and austere set of grime tracks inspired by Wiley's early-2000s "eskibeat" sound. ~ Andy Kellman & Ricardo Rainho