ZEDS DEAD play Fort York Garrison Common August 15. See listing. Rating: NNN
In five years, Toronto DJ/production duo Zeds Dead have gone from hosting a small dubstep party in the basement of the 751 pub to playing some of the world's biggest festivals. In that time, the aggressive brostep chainsaw bass lines they were known for have become less fashionable in mainstream EDM. So their newest EP focuses on trap influences, pop house anthems and unexpected references to 90s jazzy hip-hop.
This diversity of sounds is a mixed blessing. Variety is good, but bouncing between cheesy trance-anthem keyboard riffs and chilled-out classic rap beats is disorienting. They've brought in a lot of guest vocalists to sing hooks, but while Twin Shadow and D'Angelo Lacy do a great job on Lost You, Perry Farrell's appearance on Blink doesn't add much. Still, it's nice to see Zeds Dead exploring their options, even if not every experiment succeeds.
Top track: Lost You (featuring Twin Shadow and D'Angelo Lacy)