Written By: Fletcher Bonin
Electronic Dance Music or EDM has seen something of a renaissance as trippy music festivals around the world have attracted mainstream appeal. However, much of the EDM and deep house music today would be unrecognizable to the pioneers of techno. While artists like Kygo, Matoma, Afrojack, The Chainsmokers and basically any other house music superstar that you can name right now are making a killing by riding this wave of mainstream popularity. However, in much of northern Europe, you can still find traces of the roots of techno music, uncompromised by the trends of the last few years. One such artist is Berlin based DJ and producer Ziur. On her latest EP release Deeform you can hear the sonic textures, throbbing bass and offbeat artistry of techno dancehall music in its purest, most European form. This is music intended for strobe-lit clubs and late nights. Though only five tracks, this EP is ripe with complex beats and deliberate musical choices. Ziur is certainly not a ‘press play on an ipod’ DJ, and she proves that there is still original talent in the techno music industry on Deeform.
Four out of the five songs on the album have reached top chart status, and it is easy to see why. One of EDM’s most common critiques is that all the music sounds the same, a blender of bass and synth hits. This is not Ziur. For example, the song ‘Nor3grets’ is intense and complicated. At times the bass takes over and throbs through your blood vessels with every hit. Elsewhere on the track, the bass is supplemented by the barks of a dog, woofing in time with the bass before fading into shimmery synths before descending back into deep, loud bass swells. This is just one example of the complexity and post-modern style of Ziur’s music. Vocal accompaniments are rare on Deeform, and when they are present they are haunting, quick, and intense.
On the track ‘Collar Bone’ the only line by a human voice throughout the song says, “who’s idea was this?” in a scared, worried voice, clearly a departure from Halsey’s feature on The Chainsmokers hit track ‘Closer.’
The EP’s title track ‘Deeform’ also features eerie vocals, this time the line coming to us out of an off-kilter bass-scape and issuing a warning or message, repeating “he must crush you” and variations on this line. Deeform is a well of creativity, the depths of which are infinitely fascinating and layered.
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