After a commendable couple of years for Zygos, with releases on the likes of Encrypted Audio, Foundation Audio, Indigo Movement, Dubtastic and Rarefied, the Belgian producer returns yet again with his second release of 2018. Following his Sudd EP for Cue Line Records, Zygos’ Venery EP spearheads the launch of the new vinyl-focused label Overdue, also based in Belgium.
First up on the A-side is Resilience, filled with alien-like textures and distant vocals. The entire track feels like an exploration of vast, haunted cave systems with plenty of sinister undertones in the form of eerie percussive hits and a ghoulish lead pad. The leading pad depicts an unknown species on the hunt, or communicating, as they glide back and forth from the depths of which they originated. The intricate drums dictate the pace at which you travel through this creepy expedition, whilst never really allowing you to stop or slow down, as if you were actually on the run from a alien species. Even during the momentary breaks the suspense still lingers, such is the quality of the atmosphere Zygos has created here.
Flip over the A-side and you’ll find another curious but distant atmosphere approaches, alongside understated hi-hats, as Zygos authorises your one-way ticket to another of his mystical worlds in Tension. The drums are firmly rooted in the foundation of this track, featuring busy kicks and a commanding snare that marks its territory with each bar. Tension has similarities with Resilience, but the experience feels as though it’s above-ground this time, through the use of energetic tribal percussion and more optimistic synthesis as well as the occasional jungle-esque sound (Referring to the environment not the genre). The manipulation of space within the track, well-crafted delays and an ever-rumbling sub bass merge to create an enticing, unique personality. The aptly named Tension echoes its definition, as the pressure of suspense is only momentarily released with each snare.
Title track Venery is probably the best example of Zygos’ ability to guide the listener on a journey through his imaginative soundscapes whilst maintaining that dubstep flow, or step, that we all crave. Yet another enigmatic introduction installs an early feeling of curiosity, but this time he quickly switches up the mood as the far-reaching atmosphere becomes something you are completely engrossed in within seconds. Thumping kicks and another hard-hitting snare combine with the rolling sub-bass to create an irresistible groove, or relentless motion. It’s almost like a bass-packed train speeding through the underground with the addition of the tireless bell sound, dancing at the forefront. Intermittent vocals from a mystery man reveal all – “you understand? get away from here!”. The mixture of creepy vocals and even more otherworldly background sounds revive the ominous feeling from the first track Resilience in even greater fashion.
Venery is the stand out track on this EP for me, but all three bring their own flavour to the mix. Zygos has produced the goods yet again here and I can understand why the new label Overdue went with this project for their first release. I’m looking forward to more material from Zygos as well as seeing where this new label decides to go next.
Don’t forget to grab your wax.