Never mind skeletons in the closet, let’s allow Zodiac’s new music to haunt us…
It’s supremely difficult to separate Jeremy Rose (aka Zodiac) from his controversial emergence alongside Abel Tesfafe over a year ago. Rose, a forward-thinking r’n’b producer from Toronto, was supposedly cast aside by his fellow Torontoite, also known as the The Weeknd, having helped create that artist’s unique aesthetic and having crafted a handful of his earliest hits- Loft Music, The Party & the After Party and High For This.
However, it’s a story that Rose himself is trying to escape. The producer is keen to open a window, leave the contested House of Balloons behind and build his own house under his Zodiac alias. You can feel the intake of fresh air on his latest track, a collaboration with talented crooner Jesse Boykins III titled ‘Come’. It’s the first release from a self-titled EP due to be released on 24 September on Montreal-based Jacques Greene’s new label Vase and it’s essential late night listening.
‘Come’ is an eerie, spacey cut, somewhat different to Greene’s recent experimentations with r’n’b, but just as captivating. It opens and closes with a woman’s voice, drawing the boundaries of a sonic space as intimate and haunted as those darkest moments on The Weeknd’s trio of tapes. What you’re hearing is a siren. ‘Why don’t you ever come over to my house?’ she asks distantly, ‘Why don’t you ever come over?’ It’s an unsettling invitation- think of alluring ghosts whispering from the shadows in a futuristic space bazaar- but if that’s too much of a stretch, Jesse Boykins III’s responses go straight to the heart. Representing Earth, c.2012, his mournful melodies flitter and die over Zodiac’s deep, atmospheric base, whilst tic-toc percussion counts down against an ominous beeping tone.
‘Come’ marks a natural evolution from Rose’s earlier compositions- his own ‘Points’ and The Jealous Guys’ ‘Genesis’- benefitting from a subtle shift towards the emotional connections Tri-Angle Records artists such as Holy Other so often make. That’s what makes it so exciting as a record. If Zodiac can bring just some of the atmosphere and heart of ‘Come’ to his debut and weld it all into a coherent whole, that whole could make for very interesting listening indeed.Tagged in: Abel Tesfafe, hip hop, Jeremy Rose, The Weeknd, Zodiac
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