Zebidiah, real name Zeb Wayne, pulls together his love of varied genres into bizarre and kinetic debut release, Wabi-Sabi. Wayne is known to play both jazz and classical piano live yet also loves hip-hop, house and techno, and those varied influences come through on this release.
Having collaborated with Thomas Gandey on releases for Southern Fried and Nervous his work has been praised by Wolf & Lamb and Damian Lazarus, which is surprising once you hear Wayne's deep, soulful and sensual material.
Wabi-Sabi opens with a dubby collage of spoken vocals, chants and hollow bass that creates a heavily atmospheric piece that resembles a techno take on experimental jazz. Freeform components weave a complex structure around third-wall breaking vocals - "Do you want like a structure, or...?" - it is both surreal and captivating.
Second track Tengoku feels more conventional - insofar that it isn't pointing fingers at itself. Similarly warm, deep bass forms the foundation of the track building into a paranoid, post-apocalyptic sensation. The Soloist follows, melding soulful vocals around complex rhythms to create something that hints at a new twist on dubstep - funky yet alien.
Brassica provides a remix of Unpremeditated to round the EP out, and here the chaotic energy of the original feels even more alive. A driving 80s inspired electronic bass line and breakbeat form a punchy piece that loses a little subtlety but gains some legs.
Wabi-Sabi never stops thinking except where that cool Brassica beat comes in and you can imagine Zebidiah sitting right at home on Rebel Futurism or Clown & Sunset but right now Chasing Unicorns are fortunate to have him... Which is my way of saying: look out world.
Wabi-Sabi is out on 9 June through Chasing Unicorns. Preview via Soundcloud below.