Mat Zo‘s independently operated release imprint, Mad Zoo, originated as a promotion tool designed for the Self Assemble producer’s own creative output. With the exception of one past joint-effort with The M Machine, Mad Zoo has been exclusively for Zo’s products, that is until English wunderkind Shadient came along. The 19-year-old beatmaker has become Mat Zo’s sole signee, effectively repurposing Mad Zoo into what will presumably become an emerging new full-scope dance label. Making his debut with winter = reality, Shadient is kicking in the door with a heavy-handed four-track EP that sets the production bar extremely high for the young operator.
The EP’s lead track, “Lotus,” is a beating bass piece that sounds like it draws influence from Knife Party, Aphex Twin, and Moody Good‘s deepest crates, delivering a bold one-two punch to open the release. Quickly switching gears to a pensive, melodic interlude on “Secret Fires,” Shadient immediately sets his versatility as a producer in plain view, hopscotching right back to twisted, crashing bass on “Leidenfrost.” The EP closes with a soothing, quiet outro on “The View From Up Here.”
With high-profile support from Porter Robinson, Rezz, and more, expect Shadient’s imminent rise, and perhaps Mad Zoo’s ensuing expansion.