Mat Zo leaves nothing to the imagination. With summer 2019’s compilation “This is MAD ZOO,” the multi-talented producer and curator made a definitive statement on the incredible amount of excellent production he has recruited to his label. The July album wove a variety of styles together, linking retro electronic vibes with a modern chaotic flair in a 12-track romp through a selection of the up-and-comers on his label, MAD ZOO. Now, he’s taken the same formula a step further with the release of “This is MAD TOO,” a look at the forward-thinking drum and bass and halftime genres of today.
Sprinkled with the same organized-chaos feeling as the former compilation, “This is MAD TOO” is a 17-track exercise in modern producers taking a long-beloved genre like drum and bass and turning it on its head. Certain tracks, like “Space Time Continuum” by 3Four and Bazil MC, have a distinctly classic feel, while others, like “Stay” by Rohaan, have a unique and electrifyingly experimental vibe. Heavyweight producers CHEE and Tsuruda also make their appearances with a pair of trademark subterranean halftime face-scrunching stompers, on “Whippersnapper,” and “Zach’s Arp,” respectively.
The compilation pauses midway through to briefly shift genres with the dubstep cut “Lurk,” by Maru, an excellent palate-cleanser. Then, to keep things interesting, the listener is treated to a bass house dance floor banger in the form of “Bright Lights” by Anti.Negative. The return to drum and bass and halftime for the final cuts of the album feels triumphant, and the final track “Turf” by Seven and Seven closes out the hour of music with a degree of authentic solemnity that is much appreciated.
Mat Zo once again shows his prowess and how proud he is of his team with an excellent and well-ordered compilation album. “This is MAD TOO” delivers on the promise of an innovative, heavily drum and bass based selection of tunes, with more sure to come. As the idea that 2020 will be the year of drum and bass in America began to circle social media last month, we’re beginning to think that it’s more than likely with artists out there that are releasing music like this.