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Mad Zach – Quantum Shock EP Review

May 7, 2015Ben Carvalho

It’s been a furious year for Mad Zach. Having already dropped his stellar Kräftig EP and fire remixes of DJ Pound and Frenquency, Zach is capping off his winter streak with a big offering on the home of this weird bass sound, Saturate Records. While Mad Zach may not have the fame of G Jones or Bleep Bloop (both of whom feature here), he’s equally talented and deserves recognition as one of the biggest players in this bass game. Just check out his Ableton Push performances or tutorials, the man’s a well-rounded pro. Check below for the full stream of his new release as well as our track-by-track review.

Zach starts off the proceedings with the low end pressure of “Quantum Shock Therapy”. Featuring the thickest, most menacing strings since Untold‘s “Stop What You’re Doing”, this syrupy slapper is more than worthy of title-track status. Mad Zach’s collab with G Jones is next, a start-stop shoulder-pop hip hop banger ,”Roughin It”, recalls the heave-ho of their previous team up, “Spontaneity”. This man loves making his tracks slap so hard you involuntarily twitch, and “Roughin It” is the first of a few flinch-fests the mad scientist concocted here. The third track here, “Acid Beta Test”, is a vintage peak-time acid track reincarnated as a 140 bass beat. I’m not sure which weird-bass producer started this acid trend (Doshy was that you?) but thank you, hearing this resonant wetness infect something other than house/techno is a welcome change of pace.

Another partaker in the aforementioned flinch-fest, “Reverse Mechanics” is a collaboration with one of the West Coast’s premiere snare-smiths, Sayer. A haunting, metallic ringing bleeps and hums over the whip/snap of the kick/snare, while the bass and pads ebb and flow to create a mental whirlwind that’ll leave those sober spun and those spun stunned. The last of Mad Zach’s originals on the EP, “Anti-Matter Cave” and “Caltrain” vibrate with the sort of goopy paranoia you’re sure to hear at Emissions and the like this summer. Pitched 808’s, wet wobbles and unhinged soundscapes are here in force, with the demented chirps and rattles of “Caltrain” taking things to an even stranger plane before the remixes start.

The first remix sees Pixelord turn “Quantum Shock Therapy” into the bass music cousin of Tessela’s “Butchwax”. Roiling EBM percussion is paired with nostalgic pads in the intro, which I prefer to the rest of the track as the wobbles lose the vibe for me. Bleep Bloop’s “Roughin It” remix is my favorite track on the EP, successfully transferring Zach’s heaving 85 bpm style to 140 while adding some absolutely brutal drum fills to the mix. The remixes are rounded out by Amp Live‘s slo-mo take on “Antimatter Cave” and Conrank‘s if-Bassnectar-remixed-this-in-2009 sounds on “Caltrain” (not even mad though).

You can snag Mad Zach‘s EP on Saturate’s Bandcamp for free.


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