Stamp Mix #91: Al Zanders

Al Zanders (a.k.a Lodger) is a once-Sheffield-based DJ and producer, now settled in London with a knack for soulful sampling. After debuting on Luv*Jam’s Blind Jacks Journey in 2015, an EP on Phonica’s sub-label Karakul followed and now four releases later – including the launch of his own A-Z Records – he’s back to step up to their main platform with the DJ Shadow-inspired There Is Rhythm. To mark the occassion he’s put together an hour mix of disco-house, dub and West London broken beat, accompanied by an interview where we can catch up on inspirations for the new EP.

There Is Rhythm is out 20th Oct – buy on Phonica.

Hi Mr Zanders, thanks for joining. How’s your summer been?

Good thanks, nice to be a part of this. Summer’s been quite intensive with music work but had a couple of nice breaks in between.

You’ve got a new EP out with Phonica soon. Could you tell us a bit about the tracks included and the overall direction of it.

Yes! Its a two track 12″ called ‘There is Rhythm’, which is coming out later this month. It was delayed by a few weeks – apologies for anyone waiting. Both tracks were inspired by DJ Shadow, the way he layers samples together from vastly different areas of music into a collage, particularly on Endtroducing. I adopted this approach but for house music, so I got together lots of different samples and mashed them together to see what happens. The result (I hope) is that the tracks sound a unique combiation of different parts; less placable than edits or single-samples.

It’s your first release on the main label, after debuting on their sister imprint Karakul. How did you end up making the jump up?

I just sent the tracks to Simon and he said, ‘I think we want to release these on the main label’. They were the first people I sent demos to many years ago, so this feels like a special release.

Could you tell us a bit about the mix you’ve made for us?

I thought I’d loosely base it around the theme of the EP, so the mix is littered with my favourite examples of sampling in house music, by artists like Bjorn Torske and Terrence Parker. Aside from that, I just tried to make a mix that includes music I’ve been playing in my sets recently. I currently have no CDJs so used vinyl.

Clearly sampling is a big part of how you operate. Who are some of the producers you admire most for this?

Hip hop is a good place to start. DJ Shadow was the main influence for this EP, but then there’s also Dilla, Madlib, Flying Lotus, DJ Premiere and many more. In terms of house music, Theo Parrish & Pepe Braddock are probably my favourite manipulators of the sample. They can carve tracks out of the most unusual ingredients.

And finally, beyond There Is Rhythm, what on the horizon that you’re excited about?

I’ve just finished another EP, which I’m excited about. It’ll be released on a label run by one of musical heroes, the first he’s put out in over a decade.I’m also expanding my own label, A-Z, as well as playing shows in the UK and the US.

Bjorn Torske – Westside Hotel
Scott Grooves – The Sauce
Casino Times – Carlotta (Al Zanders Remix)
Jonna – Through The Night (KZR Late Night Dub)
GU’s Jazz Collective – Afro Gente
DJ Sneak – Show Me The Way
Lodger – Check Out This Groove
No.Fe.Ri.Ni – Acid Drop (Percussion Mix)
Seven Grand Housing Authority – LOVE’S GOT ME HIGH (Special TP 96 Remix)
C Dock – Traffic Jam
Al Zanders – There Is Rhythm
Roman Flugel – Pattern 12
Anthony Shake Shekir Meets BBC
Erick Cosaque – Bazouka (Instrumental) + Zombie Acapella
Daz-I-Kue – Rokstone (Several Small Fury Bugz Co-Operating In The Attic Remix)
Freeq Unique – Who Are We?

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