Zebra Katz, real name Ojay Morgan, flew onto the music scene in 2012 with his eerie ballroom creeper, “Ima Read,” which went on to grace Rick Owens‘ Paris runway in 2012. The experimental hip-hop/electronic music pioneer has since paved out one of New York’s most tantalizing artistic lanes, building upon the aural and sociopolitical narratives of fellow LGBTQ artists Mykki Blanco, Big Freedia, Azealia Banks, Le1f, and many more. Yet Morgan has managed to take the abrasive reality of these styles one step further, twisting them into an anxiously taut and nearly morbid, chthonic vision. Today, Zebra Katz delivers a refined take on his characteristically-chaotic sound with the release of his debut album, LESS IS MOOR.
Listeners will immediately get a taste of the album’s direction on the first track “INTRO TO LESS,” which sets an erratic stage for what will soon come. On “ISH” and “LOUSY” Katz wholly showcases his riotous, nearly bewildering style, whereby brash electronics intermix alongside throttling basslines and haunting synths, setting a lurid basis for him to unleash his uncompromising flows.
As the album continues, Morgan’s esoteric inspirations rapidly unravel themselves. On the project’s fifth track, “ZAD DRUMZ,” he offers up a take on ’90s Jungle, blending this alongside industrial leanings before stating that he’d gotten so high that he kicked himself out of Berghain. “MONITOR” and “MOOR” continue to elevate Katz’ hedonistic underpinnings, dabbling into nightmarish analog that mimics the tech-heavy productions of Boys Noize and Gesaffelstein.
His versatility immediately shines during the album’s midsection, abruptly breaking up the abrasiveness of the first half with the acoustic-aligned “NECKLACE.” This doesn’t last for long, however, as he dives back into his dark-lit aesthetic with the trap-clad “SLEEPN” before unleashing the brazen-faced “LICK IT N SPLIT,” a hardbass track that recruits NUXXE co-founders Sega Bodega and Shygirl.
Stream LESS IS MOOR below and watch the newly-released visual for “MOOR” above.
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