Captivating sound-design offers cinematic detailing around a classically enthralling production manner – Zumbi raise the bar and redirect things entirely with this brand new album.
Consider the haunting vocal and sample work throughout Hypocricy for a scratch-DJ hit of nostalgia to start things off. Intrigue and professionalism walk hand in hand to welcome us, right before things veer off into distinctively expressive realms of trip hop and alternative indie.
Go Deep injects a heavy bassline and grunge-like distortion amidst breathy vocals for an immersive and lyrically poetic wash of indie-rock engagement. A brilliant drop to the hook makes for an absolute early anthem that tips its hat to the alternative bands of a simpler era. Here we start to piece together the ideas that make up Ahead Of Time, and with the Zumbi creative freedom comes an intentional, fascinating manner of writing.
Lo-fi moments of reflection are contrasted well throughout this album, and slowly but surely the leading voice, however intermittent, becomes a familiar and comforting calling card. Weave in psychedelic production, and concepts that draw focus to personal and more broader issues alike, and we’re onto an addictive playlist.
Wrecked is all of this, something like a trip-hop exploration of chanted melody and intricate sound-design. Fear takes it further still, a hip hop fusion track with some inspiring exclamations like ‘feel the fear and do it anyway… don’t be a passenger, be a pilot’.
Desert Flower is beautiful, a trip hop-esque moment of Zero 7-style delicacy and intimate connection; a personal favourite. Then we get a few threads of exotic instrumentation from Get Up through Follow The Leader – heavy bass becomes gentle finger-style as the project continues to provoke a deep state of calm and consideration.
The retro shuffle and siren of 25 Fires makes for a brilliantly unusual indie-pop hit, with dreamy vocals and a melodic rise and fall that contrasts the warmth of the bassline for a mildly euphoric, hypnotic example of again intriguing escapism.
Unpredictable yet well-rooted in its experimental and contemplative nature, Ahead Of Time is a brilliantly unique project, from an act with the sort of artistry and energy once blended by the likes of Massive Attack. In this case, the genres reach further still, the topics are decidedly relevant to today, and the band faultlessly stick to their own creative guns. Well worth knowing about.