Zedd is an artist who really needs no introduction, which feels sort of strange to say considering the short time that this guy has been around. It was early in 2010 that the German producer had his breakout winning Armand Van Helden’s Witch Doktor remix contest, and just two years later he’s practically taken over the world. With a resume like no other in the industry–releases with OWSLA and Interscope, tracks produced alongside Lady Gaga and for Justin Bieber, and Spectrum, which got well over 2,500 remixes as well as constant radio play–it’s clear that he’s on a path of his own and it’s heading nowhere but up.
His first full-length LP, Clarity, dropped today over on iTunes, and I’m beyond impressed with the result. You can tell that he approached this project as a whole, rather than assembling already finished tunes for a quick cash-in. The result is truly deserving of the LP title, with a proper intro, a clear progression of sound throughout the album, and more musicality than you’ll find in most EDM releases. There are only two previously released tracks on here, giving us a total of eight new Zedd tunes, a literal wet dream for many fans out there (myself included).
The title track features vocalist Foxes and is co-written by Zedd’s pal and Poseidon Tourmate, Porter Robinson. Rather than pushing for the biggest electro-banger possible in the title track, they give us something we can get together and share. It’s big, melodic and obscenely communal, which might be a strange way to describe a tune, but the crowd-driven vocal chants really drive that point home. While the track was collaborated on with Porter, it really does have that signature Zedd sound which I assume is the reason it’s officially credited to only Zedd.
Codec is a bit darker and electro-driven, while still being very technical. It was my personal favorite on the album, so I tracked Zedd down to ask what his inspirations were for this tune. He mentioned wanting to create something to show off his sound-design skills while maintaining the emotional motif of the album as a whole. There’s a lot going on in this track, from the chopped up vocals to the techy Conscindo-esque melody. It’s that constant finesse from the young producer that makes all of these elements jive to form one b*tchin’ track.
Another monster collaboration on the release is Fall Into The Sky featuring both Ellie Goulding and Lucky Date. The tune is essentially what you’d expect from this top-tier trio, but that’s not to say it’s boring. Ellie has such endearing vocals that you don’t expect things to get bat-sh*t insane but trust me, they do. The beat is incredibly driving, similar to Zedd’s track Shotgun from earlier this year, but it’s the top layer of the tune that brings the chaos.
Released alongside the album today was a music video for Stache (followup to Shave It, perhaps?). The tune is one of the most musical on the album and is chock full of French-acid influence, offering another perspective to Zedd’s already diverse sound palette–check out the video below. I’m not sure how the young talent can follow up an album like this, but by now I’ve learned not to doubt Zedd, for what seems murky to me is seen with nothing but Clarity for him.