YouTube Surfing: Ziro

We first came across Ziro in the bleak depths of last winter, and what better time to discover his music. The brisk and dingy mood of his strain of ‘techno-not-techno’ instantly had us hooked and it seems to have had a similar effect on Mosca, Mary Anne Hobbs and a host of Rinse FM djs, who have all been caning his material.

The hotly-tipped West-country producer will release his debut via Bristol’s Crazylegs imprint on July 24th, featuring remixes from Thefft and Om Unit. We decided to pull him in to catch a spot of that YouTube surf and boy did he come up with the goods. He introduces the selection below:

“I seem to be spending a lot of time listening to (for lack of a better term) “dance” music recently, so I’m taking this opportunity to pick out some of the stuff I put on before or after the club, or just for kicking back to. It’s mostly hip-hop, downtempo and other bits that are just as much at home on a sunny afternoon as at 7 in the morning when it’s all coming to an end.”

Lapalux – Quick Kiss

“A minute and a half of killer sound design, focused around an extremely well used piano sample. I loved the whole Many Faces… but this one just stood out by a mile. There’s so much in there by way of subtle little glitches and vocal snippets that put the atmospherics on a whole new level if you really listen to it, although it’s easier to just get caught up in the head-nod to that piano and bliss out.”

9th Wonder – Enjoy (ft. Warren G, Murs & Kendrick Lamar)

“Next level beats from 9th Wonder, and the vocalists giving some of the best performances of their careers – Warren G goes in on this one. Smoked out sunshine vibes.”

Aaron Jerome – Angel Lady (Floating Points Remix)

“One of my favourite Floating Points beats, pretty simple but it’s got amazing groove and effortlessly beautiful instrumentation. I probably play this at least once a day, and it’s always in the cd wallet for the wind-down. If it wasn’t so well done I reckon a lot of people I know would probably be sick of this this by now!”

Pharoahe Monche – Haile Selassie Karate Ft. Mr Porter

“I hadn’t listened to a huge amount of this guy’s material until after I managed to catch him at Outlook last year, and this is my favourite cut from his most recent album. It seems like a real display of his command of language, marrying some pretty complex metaphors with a good dose of political awareness and some seriously elastic delivery. The beat’s by Samiyam, it’s full of jazzed-out stabs and crunchy bass hits, and it’s also got a kind of elastic quality, which is probably why it works so well with Pharaohe’s flow. The addition of Mr Porter’s soul-drenched vocal just tops it off.”

Sweatson Klank – Always You

“Take aka Sweatson Klank makes some of my favourite electronic music. This is the title track from his latest EP – it’s a slightly different style to most of his previous material, taking inspiration from juke and jungle alongside his usual palette of soul and r’n’b samples. His productions are always immensely detailed, and they’re only getting better with each release.”

Eric Lau – For The D Ft. Guilty Simpson

“Guilty’s been one of my favourite rappers for a long time, and his flow really shines over this beat. He’s just got the steez, pure and simple. The beat’s by Eric Lau – I’ve been listening to some of his back catalogue recently as well, definitely worth checking out if you’re into the smoother, jazzier end of the hip-hop spectrum.”

Kuedo – Starfox (Illum Sphere’s Re-fox)

“The original cut was the first time i’d heard Kuedo’s material and I think I played it in pretty much every set for a year or so after that. Illum Sphere’s mix injects a whole new vibe to the track, replacing the raw waveforms from the original with some lush acoustic instrumentation. It’s an amazing piece of work, but the whole rework-style approach to the job really does it for me – the translation of those blippy, drunk synth patterns into the harp and keys of the remix is done so well. Make sure to check out the original version for some context…”

The Roots – Somebody’s Gotta Do It

“Don’t really have much to say about this one, it’s from the Tipping Point album and it’s a slick vocal workout over a seriously cold instrumental. It’s also got Jean Grae in it (who’s an amazing rapper in my opinion), providing a dose of street sensibility easily on a level with Black Thought, which is pretty rare in my opinion.”

ARP 101 & Om Unit – Dr Funkenstein

“Pure cosmic synth-funk badness. I discovered this not too long ago, and it’s loads of fun to play out. ARP101 is Alix Perez’ side project I think (I love his d’n’b too), and Om Unit’s an incredible producer and sound designer so spotting this was like “Whaaat!?” Wicked intro as well!”

Mia Doi Todd – My Room Is White (Flying Lotus Remix)

“This one’s been a long time not-so-early morning favourite. It was the first Flying Lotus track I heard, I think someone played it at the tail-end of an after session at Bloc one year, and it’s always going to take me back there. The mad amounts of compression give it that buoyant, floaty feel, and the stuttered vocal chops keep it all moving so well. Good (if a little hazy) times.”