TFword Reviews Zero T’s ‘Prove It’ EP

Drum & bass label CIA Records’ first release of the year comes from Irishman Zero T, featuring names like Minor Forms, Onj and Aaliyah Esprit.

Explore any style of drum & bass you like, and there is a good chance that you will come across a significant chunk of Zero T’s music in it; such is the legacy of the Irish drum & bass legend. A veteran of the scene, Zero T’s vocal-driven, rolling, and dance floor style of production has continued to mesmerize for over two decades since his debut.

Formerly known as Zero Tolerance, the Irishman made his debut on the mighty Reinforced Records in 1999, starting a journey of thought-provoking drum & bass that only a few have been able to come close to. Having been a part of practically every era that the genre has gone through, Zero T has released his music on the most distinguished labels while running his own label called Footprints.

Also a master remixer, Zero T has remixed artists as diverse as Dillinja, Slam, Goldie, Sabre, Lemon D, Lenzman and Lenny Fontana, to name a few. His inspiring back catalog includes five studio albums, which exhibit the endless pit of diversity Zero T possesses in his music. As drum & bass continues to shapeshift in the most extraordinary ways, Zero T exemplifies the importance of sticking to and refining your sound at every juncture.

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One of 2022’s highlights in drum & bass was Zero T’s album on Lenzman’s The North Quarter, with blind jazz pianist Andre Louis (PKA Onj); a remarkable concept release that made the album one of the best drum & bass long releases of the year. The celebrated producer is now back with CIA Records, the label on which he dropped his first studio album, for a stunning four-track EP called ‘Prove It.’

The EP brings his last album’s collaborator, Onj, on the label, along with Minor Forms, who is one part of the DnB trio Arcatype, and Aaliyah Esprit’s unique flavors of the genre. Zero T wastes no time in showcasing what he loves, and brings the nostalgia back into drum & bass, which is then enriched with Zero T’s signature industrial breaks. Next is ‘Games You Play’ with Onj and Aaliyah Esprit for an atmospheric and dreamy tune with delicious harmonic shifts.

‘Form 1’ takes the techy route with its crisp and punchy kick-drums topped over surreal blushes of funk and soul. Onj returns for the final track of the EP called ‘No Way’ along with Minor Forms, with all three delivering a tune that will be incredibly hard to top this year; and we are just four weeks into 2023.

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