Has Dave Jones paid the cost to be the ‘Boss’? With last year’s collaboration with Yannah Valdevit keeping the peace, Zed Bias’ boxy, frugal, in parts unspectacular house takedown may be hard news to bear for those still gulping down the dubstep spectrum of ‘Make A Change’ as Maddslinky, and the bashment thrashes of ‘Biasonic Hotsauce’.
‘Boss’ boils down to the old chestnut of vibe and a desire to disengage; where your head is nowhere in particular, and your ears are guided by a throb rather than pricked by riffs or vocals to interact with. Attention has undoubtedly been paid to the skippy muscularity of drums throughout, playing star quarterback behind bass that is measured precisely without it ever flying off the handle. Yet this is not a team sport – it’s pure, eyes down, leave me alone, sweat-stained clubbing, a ritual of on-the-spot self-discipline.
So, pared down but still a champion bench presser, ‘Boss Skank’ and ‘Ooh’ appear to do little of note but approach irresistible upon mercury rising. ‘Ye’ (below) trims up old-skool breakbeats, ‘Copper’ hustles with little bustle. All is doing enough when, upon realising he’s not coming action-packed (and that’s without making a substitution for something more sophisticated), you’re about to question the LP’s character.
Wandering into the tribal with ‘Tug’ and techno-toothed with ‘Flamm’ while abstaining from new categorisation – he’s not getting his ‘crack-house’ on – Bias reaches the logical progression/retirement fund of where dubsteppers start circling their territory with 4x4 releases: a solid set of club tools playing the water-carrier role in Zed’s back catalogue.
Words: Matt Oliver
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The new issue of Clash, featuring M.I.A. looking just splendid on the cover, is out now.