January 26 2009
Every now and then someone will ask me who my favorite DJ is and though it does often change as I use that "favorite" title to describe the DJ that is currently my favorite. An honor, if you will, that I have bestowed to many who carried my moment with them from track to track, cut to cut-- mixologists. I mean, there is a world of heads living from loving the music that they hear.
One of my biggest loves is music with serious bass; whether it be Dub, Bassline, Jungle, Dubstep, hip hop or even Jazz-- let it be thumpy. Make you wanna' shake something. Last week I shared some music from the Canadian reggae producer Dubmatix. But this week my focus is on DJ Zhao, one half of Ngoma Soundsystem that features the Chinese-born Zhao teaming up with DJ Lateef of Mozambique. His myspace page reports that he makes residence in Berlin, but one listen to the mixes that he makes and it's apparent that his love of diverse, world music, when combined with bass or dubstep, is powerful and potent, some heady one-drum-hit-and-you-know-its-good type material.
His latest mix is called Fusion, on it, you'll find yourself in another world, made from this one but with cresting waves of bass, wobbling and shaking the melody beyond the confinement of whatever culture it happened to originally come from. His mixes are smart and smooth and when I listen to them I always feel like I'm hearing the future of world music, where the rules of culture and the border between modes of music blur and blend, in the same mix. To listen to Fusion is to nod one's head and wonder aloud about where the music came from, and if music evokes where it was made, then these mixes are akin to travelling through time and space.
Speaking of space, DJ Zhao also writes up a good blog, one of my favorites; heady, wordy and worldly. I find a tremendous amount of information and leads on more world music-- it's one of my secret resources as I research my own Sound Travels. It's called Different Waters, and as he is an excellent blogger it serves as a direct introduction to the dude and his daily thoughts on the world and its music.
Take a tour...take a listen...download.
DJ Zhao: Fusion