Zero T's latest release is as much a history lesson through various drum and bass styles as it is an exploration of his technicality and musical ambition. As his second release on Amsterdam's The North Quarter, Former Self does not shy away from emotive expression honing in on some of DnB's (debatably) best sub-genres including liquid and Jump Up.
The first track "Moments Fade" is an emotionally enticing track fruitful with meticulous melodies and Steo's hushed pop vocals. The tender piano movements are evocative alongside the intricate drum programming, so much so that I can't help but make a parallel to DjRUM's idiosyncratic emotional drum and bass. The following track is a soul reinterpretation of Mango and Mathman's "Lonely Night" featuring Lolah. The vocal mix cleanly transforms the downtempo Hip Hop track to a liquid DnB number whose cinematic harmonic shifts are atmospheric and dreamy. Moreover, "Elegy" completes the triad of bare and effectuating DnB numbers. The partnership of delicate melodic movements with classic DnB drum programming divulges itself as an essential pairing I can't seem to get enough of.
"I Want More" teases us with the darker side of 90's DnB. A distorted and aggressive bass punches throughout the track in homage to the Jump Up sub-genre. However, the energy hardly subsides in the final track "Clash" produced in collaboration with Myth. Borrowing from dub-infused jungle, the up-tempo track boasts a punchy kick-drum and a wobbly bass-line with phased hi-hats manoeuvring throughout the sonic space. Zero T comments on the intention behind Former Self EP:
"I wanted this second release to be stripped back to the basics: five Drum & Bass tracks that cover the spectrum of what I like within this music... If someone wants to know what I stand for, then this release says it all".
And this release does say it all. In Former Self, Zero T establishes himself as a name to be watched with drum and bass. The worst part of this EP is when it ends.