Eclectic, hard-hitting club sounds.
The world of experimental club music is full of jagged shapes, sounds that clash rather than harmonize. It's a style that lends itself to expressions of violence and aggression, which can make this sphere of dance music both alienating and awe-inspiring. Berlin-based Ziúr is an artist who navigates this space a little differently. She packs her tracks with tough textures and angular samples, but she does so with grace. Ziúr's two EPs, Taiga on Infinite Machine and Deeform on Objects Ltd., balance anger with poise. They're among the most stunning club records of 2016.
A co-founder of Berlin's Boo Hoo party, she's pushing both experimental club music and gender activism in the city, alongside like-minded crews such as Janus and Creamcake. Her DJing is as eclectic as her tracks, carefully working in pop, jazz and experimental selections in between the tough beats. Listen here to the way she works in Nicki Minaj's "Stupid Hoe," and turns Rihanna's "Sex With Me" into a spectral presence that floats over the beats below. Along the way, she finds room for Chino Amobi, Duke Ellington, Amnesia Scanner and Brian Eno and David Byrne. It's a mix that's as headstrong and fearless as her records.
What have you been up to recently?
I've been playing out quite a bunch, which is a lot of fun, especially when I see my friends in different places.
How and where was the mix recorded?
I sorta "produced" the mix at home on my computer. I think that for mixes I wanna take the listener on a journey much rather than to show off my super DJ skills, so it's a legit way of dealing with it. It's also the economical solution which I always prefer. I love when art comes from cheap places, so that being productive is basically accessible to everyone.
Could you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
My idea when it comes to mixes is always to be as eclectic and outgoing as possible, but at the same time find a way of making it all work as a whole. It's fun throwing together a thrash metal and a jazz track in a transition between two club tracks. In this particular mix, very often, three to four tracks run at the same time so it's been definite fun to make it.
You run a party in Berlin called Boo Hoo. How did it start, and what's the music policy?
We started Boo Hoo around two years ago with the intention to create a welcoming community space and push for music we would not very often hear in club settings. Berlin especially doesn't need another techno party, but that's not even the issue. If we're in love with the musical output of the artists we are gonna book them. We don't mind if people are mad popular or never even heard of. What's mainly important for us is that we're pushing for women, trans and POC people on our lineups. I certainly believe that being aware of who we book affects the audience as well as the whole vibe of the event. We don't believe in the concept of a "safe space," but we've by far succeeded in creating an "asshole free zone."
Your music is pretty aggressive and loud. Would you say that's intentional?
It's not that easy to answer. I usually don't think too much when it comes to writing music since the process is more of an emotional one for me. Generally I'm drawn to a certain type of industrial sound, so these sounds could be described as aggressive, but I feel like my music also carries a certain lightness. What intentionally happened to me at one point was to decide that I won't compromise when it comes to writing music, so maybe this conscious decision opened doors to embrace my favourite sounds more, but also to not give a shit about general song structures, etc. Nothing is written in stone though, so let me surprise you in the future.
What are you up to next?
I'm in the process of writing my debut album that's gonna be released as a joint venture on Planet Mu and Objects Ltd some time 2017. Furthermore, there are some plans writing music for theatre performances, and I'm looking forward to collaborating with a few people on tracks, doing remixes, etc.