It’s finally here, Zeds Dead has released ‘Hot Sauce’ upon us, and I will be frank in telling you, it’s not what you’d expect from the Canadian duo. If you were a big fan of the Adrenaline EP or their Victor EP with Omar Linx, you may need to enter this EP with an open mind and a carefully tuned ear. It seems Zeds Dead has gone out of their way to show the world that they aren’t exactly who you think they are, and that you cannot label their style into a specific genre. Hence, we delve into ‘Hot Sauce’, a mixture of all new genre explorations, including glitch-hop, tribal, and even a bit of pseudo-drum and bass or pseudo-moombaton. Writer’s Note: To get the most enjoyment out of this album, you’re going to need a semi-decent set of headphones, or a nice subwoofer. Do Not base your assumption of this EP on stock computer speakers, or you’re going to have a bad time.
The EP begins with “Demons”, a somewhat delicate tune placed within what seems like a horror movie straight out of the 70′s. This light, somewhat minimalistic track is a very strong indication of what is to come throughout the rest of the EP: the unexpected. It’s not the strongest track on the EP, but it’s got enough in it to make you curious about a second listen. The soft piano is soothing while underlying dirty bass and horrific themes, which drops us into the second track, “Mr. Sub”. The tittle is a play on the chain of Sub Shops in Canada, while also playing on the fact that the song is comprised of a majority of bass. My suggestion for this tune: lay on top of a subwoofer and close your eyes. To be honest, I wouldn’t loose my mind hearing this live unless heavily “medicated”. It’s a smooth and quick song, and seems to be over before it really starts, leading us into “Playa”. “Playa” feels like the most mastered track on this EP, in my opinion, with its squeaky sound and heavy bass. It has an almost moomba-like breakdown and just the right amount of vocal samples. This is one to get the crowd moving, while still maintaining that weird Zeds Dead style. It has a followup breakdown that absolutely takes you by surprise and completely changes the mood of the song, while still feeling subtle and nonchalant. It drives us straight into “Rave”, another track of memorable mention. This is the drum and bass feeling song that you’ve always wanted to hear from Zeds Dead, without really being drum and bass. It’s got an upbeat tempo that is reminiscent of the 90′s rave scene, bringing in the old-school with a little new-school flair. It has the hype that you want with that dirty dark side that Zeds Dead is known to show. It’s a contender for my favorite track on the EP. The EP is wrapped up with “Trouble”, a tune that had absolutely more potential than the other tracks on the album, but is missing the staple of Omar Linx to really make it into that Zeds Dead signature song. It has everything that you were missing from ‘Victor’, heavy bass, Zeds Dead stylings, and massive drops. But it doesn’t have Linx, and I hate to say that it’s noticeable, but I cannot deny the obvious. I can only hope Linx comes in later down the road for a remix.
Well, there you have it. The EP has been met by the social media channels with mixed reviews, some hating the new EP and some who can’t get enough. Personally, this EP is a bit confusing to me, but all around, the more I listen to it, the more I accept it for what it truly is: a display of Zeds Dead power in variety. Support Zeds Dead by buying it from Beatport, where you’ll also get Nadastrom’s remix of Undah Yah Skirt, or from iTunes.