UK jungle producer Zomby has never been one for convention. Even when he’s paying homage to ’90s jungle in his unique approach to the genre of hardcore breaks. There’s this almost comical eccentricity in his approach to the music; he cuts off songs prematurely, makes use of the most absurd and far-fetched samples, and just generally makes very proficient and endlessly enjoyable music while seeming to revel in having zero respect for the art he creates. Zomby is the counterpoint to the 21st century stereotype of the self-absorbed DJ.
His latest gimmick or latest act of genius rebellion (depending on your perspective) finds him releasing his latest album “Mercury’s Rainbow” exclusively on vinyl. Already this is unexpected for any artist in 2017, but even more for a genre that often makes its bread and butter from being easily accessible by not just fans, but other DJs who may wish to give the music exposure in a club setting. Zomby already made a departure from his usual jungle-based hardcore breaks approach (diving into more abstract and more difficult to classify territory, even featuring a collaboration with Burial) on last year’s “Ultra,” and now it seems he’s doubled down on departing from his (or anyone’s) conventions not just on a musical level but on a physical level, and by extension, on a PR level.
Releasing a vinyl-only album in 2017 will almost certainly hurt Zomby’s sales for the new album, but whether or not it will be seen ultimately as a useless gimmick or a creative release tactic, which is to say, whether or not it will hurt Zomby’s reputation, remains to be seen. Whether or not Zomby cares about either of these things is anyone’s guess. The man has time and time again proven himself to be anything but predictable.
Order the exclusive vinyl for “Mercury’s Rainbow” here from Bookmat