FRESH KICKS 119: ZIÚR
When she was a teenager, one of Ziúr’s favourite bands was L7, the proto-riot grrrl group with a caustic sense of humour and melody. Growing up as a punk, she was gradually put off by the aesthetic clichés and socio-political insularities of the scene. She moved to Berlin in the mid-’00s and never looked back.
In Berlin, Ziúr runs BOO HOO, an ad-hoc party that prioritises queer people of colour, both in the booth and on the dance floor. After releasing two solo EPs in 2016 – ‘Taiga’, on Infinite Machine, and ‘Deeform’, on Objects Limited, showcasing her tactile, multi-layered approach to contemporary experimental club music – Ziúr began working with Planet Mu, who have released two of her albums, 2017’s ‘U Feel Anything?’ and 2019’s ‘ATØ’, which is due for release this November.
As a DJ and producer, Ziúr’s knack for blending almost aggressive musical elements into soaring electronic melodies and vocalisations has become her signature. When she’s behind the decks, you’re as likely to hear a Nicki Minaj vocal pulled through the wringer, and teased out over caustic jungle breaks, as a thumping techno beat with vogue crashes and skittering vocal samples. The caustic sense of humour and melody that she loved a young punk is still an influence.
Over the last three years, though, her productions have been tenderised somewhat: drawing from pop song writing and different vocal collaborations, rich strings and R&B melodies bloom among cold metallic drums and techno bleeps. Among her sounds more abrasive elements, there’s beauty and tenderness, and a willingness to engage with the contemporary realities of life dealing with gender inequality.
Her forthcoming album ‘ATØ’ is, in her own words, devoted to “all people who struggle finding a place in this world, who are having trouble being respected AND celebrated for who they are. For everyone, who is part of resisting the status quo, for all survivors, outcasts, and weirdos. For people who fight for their existence, every day.”