An elegantly captivating release from the UK garage producer
Zed Bias is among a select group of UK garage producers who went onto something more interesting when the two-step bubble burst. For Bias, whose 2000 hit single ‘Neighbourhood’ is a classic, this has meant dubstep, broken beat and now this, the debut solo album from Croatian singer/songwriter/producer Yannah Valdevit, which he has co-produced. The outcome is a soulful mix of deep house, jazz and broken beats – the kind of music, in other words, that perpetually risks going down the route of anodyne wine-bar tastefulness. It is very much to their credit, then, that ‘Equilibrium’ is a gem: smooth but not dull, funky but not “funky”, chic but not fashion-obsessed. Much of this is down to the duo’s skill in incorporating dirtier, more modern styles into their song-based mix, such as UK funky swing on ‘Let Me Down’ or the sub-bassy ‘Dalima’. The results are elegantly captivating, like Katy B giving up nightclubs for good wine and a well-stocked cheeseboard.