The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Zomby Blasts Reynolds For 'Wonky'/Ketamine Link
The Quietus , March 10th, 2009 09:25

Drug link rubbished by anonymous dance producer

Zomby has hit out at a recent Guardian article that aligned his off-kilter, post-Plastician dubstep sound with both the term ‘wonky’ and rave tranquiliser ketamine.

The Hyperdub producer railed at suggestions from scribe Simon Reynolds that ‘K’, with its anaesthetic properties, is a suitable companion drug to the “groggy, stumbling beats” produced by acts like himself, Joker and Hudson Mohawke.

“No one does ketamine right?,” the anonymous beat-bane asserted in a MySpace bulletin and blog post. “I thought it died in the late Eighties after that shitty Madonna tour ended, maybe you know more...

“Though I have seen a crusty white dude with dreadlocks rolling around in his own puke 'going off on K' in Brixton not long back,” he continues. “Dunno how inspirational an event for an artist that is however.”

In Reynolds’ defence he does point out resistance to the drug within bassland circles, citing T-shirts on sale in Bristol whose slogans proclaim “Dubstep Against Ketamine” and complaints coming from online messageboarders that “K heads are a fucking nightmare. They fall into everything, break stuff, don't move out of the way of incoming traffic, slobber over bouncers which just infuriates them and generally FAIL at any level of dignity.”

However, he only provokes Zomby’s ire further when implying that the producer may have chosen his name in homage to the link between his music and ketamine.

“It could all be just rumour,” says Reynolds of the link. “Then again, "wonky" does happen to be street slang for ketamine… And how about the fact that Zomby is the name of the genre's leading producer, while "zombies" is the most common description of K-heads made by people who deplore the drug's effect on the vibe in clubs?

“Just coincidences, maybe.”

Evidently, with Zomby insisting that “to make the link to Ketamine is wild.

“Next time you write a piece in a national newspaper try [to] have some accuracy or even some intellectual property on the creativity or artistry of the music/artists rather than lowest common denominator music journalism, i.e. 'Drugs and a new music'.”

He also attacked Reynolds for using the term ‘wonky’.

“None of us make 'wonky'... the notion is similar in descriptive terms to calling heavy metal ‘loud' or jungle 'fast', adjectives cannot function as nouns.

“It’s fairly unimaginative and ignorant by this point,” he continues.

“At first the term was used loosely as it was a playful in-joke for producers working in disharmonic structure or notation.”

He did admit that the article contained one “paragraph that worked”, however – referring to the below:

"Listen to Zomby tunes like Spaceman and Aquafresh (off his recent 7-track EP for Hyperdub) and it's like someone's taken the monochrome diagram that is dubstep's rhythmic grid and scrawled woozily all over it with fluorescent marker pens."