Tender jungle and ambient.
The latest example of this killer synthesis in action is "Akrasia," the title track from Zaks' new EP on Help Recordings. The drums are electric, the sound design exquisite. But most striking are the shifts in mood—within seconds, we zip from serene summer landscape to sweaty warehouse rave. Nearly 30 years since jungle was invented, Zaks is carving out his own, instantly recognisable niche.
You might call Zaks' style a modern take on the "ambient jungle" sound popularised in the '90s by artists like Omni Trio, Foul Play and LTJ Bukem. As such, he also makes great ambient music. "Akrasia (Subsidiary)," a short, beatless version of the original, brings the enchanting beauty of the composition into sharper focus, highlighting in particular the impressive range of sounds and their collective emotional power. Given the strength of the source material, Zaks' older brother Natal, AKA Central, was never in danger of fluffing his lines on the B1, though his near-ten minute house remix, which leaves out the original's dub chords and vocals, feels too stripped-back. House and techno DJs tempted by the easy-to-mix option should take the risk and draw for the original instead.