“Zeds dead baby. Zeds dead.”
Although I’m sure there are some people reading this that are not aware of the glorious cinematic roots from which those words originally came, I’m positive that everyone reading this is familiar with the pair of Canadian producers that have been (and currently are) taking the world by storm.
Hailing from Montreal, Zeds Dead (made up of Hooks and DC) are one of the most dynamic acts in electronic music today. If anyone were to try and shove them under the umbrella of a single genre they would simply be incorrect.
Other than the fact that their last EP, the “Somewhere Else” EP, included dubstep, disco, house, hip hop, and about a million other influences, Zeds Dead always make sure to play classics like Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles in their sets as well.
Now after years of blowing away festivals and clubs around the globe, the duo is ready to make their first true statement as Zeds Dead in the form of their debut album. With a release scheduled for some point this year, very little is known about the album as of now. While this may be daunting for all the Zeds Dead fans out there (including me) there are a few things are sure to expect from this monumental release.
Besides the 2016 release date, Zeds dead have released one key piece of information regarding the album in the form of a single. Entitled “Back Home”, this hip hop track boast a guest rap from the one and only Freddie Gibbs. Now, when it comes to electronic music the kind of features people have come to expect are usually unknown singers on big house tunes or turn-up rappers attaching their name to latest trap banger. However, Freddie Gibbs fits neither of those descriptions. A well-versed rapper with his own voice, Gibbs is just the tip of the iceberg as far as who might make an appearance on the album. Zeds Dead have always been the type to push boundaries…who knows, maybe we’ll see someone truly legendary lend their talents.
As all the other EDM blogs will tell you, the release of “Back Home” also marked the launch of Zeds Dead new label Deadbeats. Like the album there aren’t really many details as to what this label means for Zeds Dead or the scene as whole (the only thing on the website is a Soundcloud link to “Back Home”), but what is important is that the album will be the first release on the label. (Technically second, but “Back Home” is a part of the album so I consider it the first). That means that the album will set the tone for the label. Artists starting their own labels isn’t new, but sometimes the artists at the helm start the label to nurture a sound through others. For example, Skream started his label Of Unsound Mind almost two years ago and has yet to put out an original track on it. Not trying to insult Skream (who is actually my favorite DJ), but by using their own material to introduce the label it demonstrates a level dedication that is sure to catapult Deadbeats to the next level.
3. Album = Tour
You may not have noticed, but since the conclusion of their “Two Night Stand Tour”, Zeds Dead haven’t been playing a lot of gigs. They’re all set for Dead Rocks on Thursday and they played a late night set a Bonnaroo earlier this month and a few other festivals, but other than that they have mostly been busy working on the album. Once that album drops in all of its glory though, I’m sure Zeds Dead will be rocking a city a near you. Best of all, with the music business being centered around performing it’s likely Zeds Dead will stay on tour for over year if not two years. To be honest that sounds grueling for the artist, but as long as they’re not complaining there’s no reason not to be excited about it. Just means more of a chance for them to stop by once or twice.
4. Worth The Wait
Unfortunately I’m not a farseer so I can’t predict the future, but the idea that a Zed’s Dead album won’t be worth the wait seems ludicrous. DC and Hooks have been making music together since 2004, and 12 years is a long time to put out an album. With streaming services and the growing emphasis on singles, the idea of traditional album is unfortunately fading. Now that Kanye is adding and altering TLOP months after it was “released” on Tidal, soon everyone will start to realize the convenience of that even though its a practice similar to what George Lucas did to the original trilogy when they came out on DVD. But based on the fact that they waited this long to put out an album, I have no doubt it will truly display the sheer talent that is Zeds Dead.
“We’re taking our time to make it our absolute best and it’s close!” they told Billboard.
5. The Music Will Probably Sound Like This
While we here at EDM Maniac maintain the position that electronic music culture is bigger than just the music, we also recognize that music is at the center of everything. After all, that’s what the “M” stands for.
As a result, this piece will be the first in a series dedicated to helping our readers find new, awesome music. To that end, our strategy is simple – the artists are the key.
Sure one-hit-wonders are still a very real thing, especially now that singles are more prevalent than ever, but artists are what really drive trends and sell tickets.
Have you ever been to a rave and heard one of the headliners tracks played early in the day? Sure it’s still cool to hear, but it won’t come close to same feeling as when you hear the headliner play it. That’s what people wait for because that songs is attached to the artist, who is person to which you can relate.
On the contrary, because that headliner is most likely doing a DJ set, there’s always a significant chance they won’t play that track at all. What that headliner will do most assuredly though is play tracks by others. That’s the beauty of DJing. You can use other people’s music to reinforce your set, which in turn leads to fans not really associating individual tracks with an artist, but rather an overall sound.
Our goal with these pieces is to introduce our readers to artists that make music in line with the sound of someone they know and love. In the spirit of Zeds Dead, we have assembled 5 tracks from 5 different artists of eclectic styles. If one were so inclined, they could find 5 different artists from each of those 5, and now you have 25 new artists you discovered that all sound like Zeds Dead. That’s the thing about music, the number of artists you can discover are truly endless, and all of them have their own interpretations of what good music sounds like. All that’s left is for you to define your own interpretation.