“Electric Dimensia” is as chaotic as it is brief, a liminal corridor through which ziDiiL leads a cyclone of manic voices.
The latest project from California’s ziDiiL is, at its core, an exercise in duplicity. It appears wildly random at times, but equally each choice is as meaningful as the next. The three voices that carry the album (ziDiiL plus SkomaZOM and illmana) fight viciously to be heard, echoing, sounding off with feral energy alongside and against the overarching sense of melody. As the sole, and executive, producer on the record, ziDiiL balances this anarchy with precise, sometimes entrancing, instrumentals. Consequently, “Electric Dimensia” emanates an illusion of havoc whilst puppet-master ziDiiL keeps the strings tight in hand.
“Ballerina”, the second track from the EP, is the best example of this balancing act. Opening as a pristine trap beat, the song is quickly intensified by ziDiiL’s sharply autotuned verse. Reverb effects fuse with background harmonisation, soon nothing feels concrete and the listening experience becomes vertiginous. “Not enough, never enough, I got shit up in abundance” cries ziDiiL, codifying the ethos of “Electric Dimensia”. SkomaZOM enters with a blistering and, plainly, impressive verse. His delivery is reminiscent of Danny Brown, or perhaps even the obscured cadence of Ego Mackey – his bars are tight and convulsive and leave their mark in higher octaves. Beneath SkomaZOM’s performance, ziDiiL introduces a massive, rubbery bass line to flood the lower half of the beat, just one of many able touches to the EP’s production. illmana follows with a considerably calmer third verse, settling the enormous energy of the first two. His contribution is a verse laced with threatening and inventive imagery – “Coughing out my fucking lung cos smoking n—-’s too much fun”.
Little ties together the five tracks of “Electric Dimensia” besides the title; the name offers an idea of illness, of breakdown and incapacitation, and this is reflected by mania infused into the verses. “Enjoi Defecit”, for example, features extremely unnatural imagery; “I’m the man on the fucking moon, please don’t go so soon, boy you’re doomed, I got flowers in my circle, different shades of purple”.
The production is predominantly responsible for the atmosphere of “Electric Dimensia”. “Mindbender” showcases exceptional mixing; piano notes have abundant room to ring out fragilely amongst the restrained blast of the bassline. Snares are immediate and crisp, landing with a satisfying snap. The dramatic melody of “Graviton Forfeit” makes for a wonderful opening, but is soon lost under a blanket of bass and vocals. Thankfully, “10000 Leagues” allows ziDiiL to prioritise melody once more, with screeching tones flying across the top of the mix and ethereal synths filling out the background. In most all cases the production is tight and proficient, with certain outstanding elements.
“10000 Leagues” closes out the album with total convolution. Autotuned wails supplement the verses, a whirlwind of lost souls calling out. ziDiiL’s verse is slowed, a feint against the listener before the song inevitably explodes. SkomaZOM again steals the show with his verse, spitting out winding rhymes; “dirty, so exotic sprite, demonic mind really wanna live an aquatic life”. The oceanic reference is timely, as the song sinks into a slowed, drowsy mess in its final minute. The listener is now uncertain amongst unpredictability; illmana’s vocals are prismized and repeat hauntingly into the final seconds of the tape.
“Electric Dimensia” is a solid achievement in many respects. Its energy is constant and quality consistent, a testament to ziDiiL’s capability as an executive producer. This could’ve easily fell into total dissarray, but the three vocalists are held down by the hardened production so that one never totally overshadows another. It is an essential example of chaos done right.
Listen to “Electric Dimensia” here.
– Jamie (@youngjade1216)