TOTD // 19/07 // Zolaa.

Published: July 19, 2017, words by Will Soer

Part of the Neo Violence takeover


Ever since the genre’s origins, tonally in Berlin and formatively in Detroit, Techno has thrived in tense, dangerous environments; the music’s otherworldly intensity reflects the experiences of those alienated by authoritative forces. This has led to imprints like Underground Resistance, whose inhuman aesthetic finds strength by destroying its creators’ identities and vesting itself in defiant sci-fi inspired narratives; their 1994 Dark Energy EP was officially described as “the first in a series of sonic strikes… consist[ing] of a series of 6 dark energy waves… [which] will engulf the Earth in an ultraviolet Midnight Sunshine.” Kodwo Eshun summed up this aesthetic in 1998, stating that “this toxic waste and this acid rain generate conditions in which mutant Rhythmachines thrive. UR re-alienates Techno, exposing it to these radioactive conditions, the ones that threaten all creativity.”

It might be tempting to ascribe the music of Ukrainian producer, DJ and ex-black metal guitarist Zolaa. with a similar meaning. His contemplative but thudding tracks such as ‘Kaban Groove‘ fit intuitively with UR boss Mike Banks’ belief that “there are definite messages there through tonal communication”; his tumblr features a middle finger pointed at Russia’s Red Square, and his adopted city of Kiev has been internationally visible as a hotbed of political tension for years.

This ascription melts away once you give yourself over to his calming and invigorating music, the kind that will soundtrack athletes preparing for the 2250 intergalactic Olympics with the a few laps of the zero-grav air pool. More Shanti Celeste than Jeff Mills, Zolaa. mixes ambient tones and breakbeat percussion to create music that is otherworldly in its complete deviation from stereotypical perceptions of his world. Like the gorgeous photography of his tumblr, tracks such as ‘Lights Out‘ are refreshingly characterful and serene. If anything, the ideology of his music is a direct contrast with Detroit techno’s tendency to revel in alienation; the gorgeous ‘Humanity‘ samples Charlie Chaplin’s 1940 statement, “more than machinery, we need humanity”, and – as revealed below – ‘Kaban Groove‘ is dedicated to warm, collaborative friendship.

In keeping with this, Zolaa.’s selections for Watch The Hype are themed around tracks from his local scene – a city with a “huge electronic music scene” which Zolaa. now loves “more than my native, even with all the bad stuff”. These are tracks that allow listeners to listen further to the side of Kiev that they don’t see in the news.

via soundcloud

Youngg P

Kaban Dub

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“Youngg P – one of my closest friends, is a really talented musician. His latest releases were on Private Persons and Kiev House records. A few words about this track: ‘Kaban’ is a very local slang word that means a very close male-friend, a real translation of “kaban” from Ukrainian is “boar”. So this track is dedicated to our kaban-friends company (the same as mine “Kaban Groove”). This track by itself is a good mix of filtered breaks and gloomy pads, I really feel this mood, the best for party ending.”
via soundcloud

Recid

I Don't Know

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“Heavy, stomping “uranium” techno track with a beautiful down-going arpeggio by my friend Recid. Recid is a resident of Moscow’s Monasterio and he produces this kind of uncompromising techno music. He’s had a few vinyl releases that you definitely should check at Corridor Audio, Arts, Nicz and Monasterio records.”
via soundcloud

Voin Oruwu

Altaier Volum

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“My second kaban is Voin Oruwu (aka Koloah). As Voin Oruwu he produces very deep ambient and techno pieces. Heavy percussion and dark bass, minimalistic but very energetic track by my friend released on Swamp Tapes. Back in the day, when I just started to do some electronic music, he was like a mentor for me, and now I am working on collaborative EP with him – so you can hear it very soon, I hope.”
via soundcloud

Bryozone

The Last Bug Dub

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“Psychedelic synth progression, dubby bass and blurred structure in a track, ‘The Last Bug Dub’ is by the young but really talented girl Anna from Odessa, resident of System (a label from Odessa). She is producing beautiful ambient, structured noise and, in the majority, not-for-club-use music, but for your headphones.”

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