Last Friday, UK native and dubstep DJ/producer Zomboy, aka Joshua Mellody, melted the faces off a happily head-banging crowd at Elektricity. Part of an 18-date North American tour in support of his most recent album, Neon Grave, Zomboy’s stop in Pontiac was extremely well received despite the area’s relatively small population. How many people in Pontiac would really subject themselves to the distorted wobbles and growls of UK dub, you ask? Enough to turn Elektricity into a sweatbox that left me absolutely, gleefully, drenched.
Though he’s now considered an important name in dance music, Mellody’s musical interest actually began with heavy metal. He started in the music industry with sound engineering, which led to producing for other artists and eventually learning to DJ — which, in a crazy turn of life events, he did in only one week. Soon after his first EP, Game Time, was released in 2011, his label Never Say Die Records booked him his first DJ gig at the Ministry of Sound in London, necessitating a quick learning curve. He went on to headline his own tour for his album, The Outbreak, just three years later. If Neon Grave is any indication, Zomboy won’t be slowing down any time soon.
Though his discography often strays from strictly dubstep — most recently with a track from Neon Grave, “Miles Away” — Friday’s performance definitely brought the soul-shaking bass. Zomboy expertly dubstep-ified tracks like The Chainsmokers “Don’t Let Me Down,” and took full advantage of the hype factor of songs such as Flosstradamus/GTA/Lil John’s “Prison Riot,” all the while infusing remixes with his own flair. The highlight of the night (other than showering the sweat out of my hair once I got home) was feeling my heart skip a few beats as he spun out “Like A Bitch,” one of his most popular songs that had the crowd moshing in glorious unison.