Album Review: Wonky Logic, ‘0113’

Listen to and buy 0113.

Album cover by Wumi ‘Wumzum‘ Olaosebikan

Leeds-born, London-based Wonky Logic self-released his first album, 0113, on 23 July 2020. 

The album title refers to a Leeds dialing code, and its cover art, drawn by Wumi ‘Wumzum’ Olaosebikan, features buildings from that city emerging from Wonky Logic’s head. It’s a fitting image for a largely cerebral album. Wonky Logic, for whom music-making is a “cathartic outlet”, wrote it entirely while in lockdown, drawing from a deep well of ideas. “I’ve been playing instruments on my music and my beats that have stayed on my laptop for the last 4-5 years.”

“I’ve been a lot more creative than last year,” he said. “I was touring a lot and didn’t have any spare time to make music. When I came home, I just wanted to hang around in my pants and watch TV. I’ve made more music in lockdown than I did last year.” 

Wonky Logic hasn’t released any music since his 2012 EP Mindmarkets. In the interim, however, he moved to London and brought his far-reaching talents to an impressive assortment of projects. He was a founding member of Steamdown and is a member of IG Culture’s DJ/producer collective Selectors Assemble, plays keyboards for Bryony Jarmon-Pinto, synth/keytars in Onipa, and played alongside Soweto Kinch in Emma Jean Thackeray’s recent project Um-yang. He is credited as a producer on a long list of original and remixed songs.

His approach to music draws from his expansive musicality and production skills, two realms he only recently meshed. “For a long time I didn’t realise the musicality and production skills worked together. I think I play music more like a producer than a musician.” 

The opener, ‘PROMISE (death)’, is named for a peaceful transition the flute and shimmery scoundscape conjured for Wonky Logic’s fiancee, Vanessa. Wonky Logic, who says he doesn’t care much for the sound of new music (“it’s super clean”), combines instrumentals and effects that make the album’s synthy, textural beats difficult to date. 0113 does, however, refer to both this year’s pandemic and swell of anti-racism activism. ‘PPE’ weaves a whimsical, pinball-machine beat with gentler celestial pulsing, evocative of beeping machinery hospitals run on. The one-minute long ‘Mandela Centre’ samples an employee explaining why police are not allowed to enter. 

0113’s 23 tracks run short but show the eclectic reaches of Wonky Logic’s imagination. ‘Grounddd’ contrasts a lumbering, fuzzy bass line with florid woodwinds. The most outright jazz tune, ‘Cos ALL yoU EVer knOw’ ends about 4 minutes too soon, but is followed by ‘deadly 10,’ a drum-heavy garage track. He plays no less than six instruments and samples widely on it. “A lot of the album is raw coming out of a sampler. I use Reason to make beats. I got the tunes from the sampler, made the tunes on it, compressed it and tried to make it sound good,” he said.