There was a time when a producer would come out with a new album and you basically knew what you were going to get. If it was a Fatboy Slim, you’d be getting big beat and rave. With Skrillex, you would be getting dubstep. Now with all the fly by night EDM crazes, it is a bit harder for producers to be so concentrated. Enter Zeds Dead‘s new album, Somewhere Else. The Canadian duo spend the entirety of the album proving they have no discernible identity.
The duo’s identity problems are summarized in “Hadouken,” an instrumental track that features mainly trap production with progressive house builds, sections of heavy electro, and even a little dubstep. While there are sections of the song that seem fantastic, the many diverse styles showcased insure that there is a little of everything for EDM fans.
But the album defies you to enjoy it in its entirety. Maybe you won’t enjoy the straight indie synth pop sounds of “Lost You.” The track features Twin Shadow and you would have no idea that they didn’t write and produce the song if for not that it was appearing on Zeds Dead’s album. Similar things can be said of the Sean Price feature, “Dead Price” which is so stereotypical hip hop that it is a wonder that producers with name recognition had something to do with.
The old cliche says that variety is the spice of life but listening to Somewhere Else makes me yearn for the days when I put on a producers’ album and largely knew what I was getting. I would love to put on Zeds Dead album and get eight songs I can dance to. Instead there are eight songs that hold very little in common with each other aside from the fact that Zeds Dead’s name is on it.