Ziúr is a woman who lives in Berlin who identifies as an “earth citizen,” and Deeform is the first 12″ release on Lara Rix Paradinas‘ Objects Limited label. The label’s mission is to release music by “female identifying/non binary electronic producers.”
Ziúr’s gender identity is orthogonal from her music; the label’s sexual politics matter but her music stands alone. It has prerequisites across the electronic music spectrum. In “Himilaya”, The juxtaposition of distorted electronic beats with africa drums and hand percussion recalls Muzlimgauze. The sustained synthesized voices echo those prevalent in Pardinas’ music as Lux E Tenebris.
At the lighter end of Ziúr’s music “Bud Dallas” builds up a sort of tongue and cheek funk around an E flat 7th chord and a start-stop drum pattern. The bassline’s repeated 16th note patterns flex under the shifting accent of the snare samples. A flute-like lead melody drifts in and out of tune. This piece recalls Muziq’s Jake Slazenger tracks a bit, in that both are at the same time serious and playful.
“noR3gGts” has a staggering break beat pillowed in degraded, noise. About a minute a dog’s bark comes in as the lead sound. It is played in the dog’s natural triplet rhythm, which rubs against the more or less straight programmed beat. The dog sample plays both naturally and artifically — Ziúr’ lets it play out at its recorded pitch, but then repeats it in straight 16th notes, calling notice to the sample’s artificiality.
The tension of Ziúr is this interplay between the real and the virtual. Blatantly ‘fake’ sounds versus minimally processed found sound. Distorted drum synth kicks play off against bells and tambourines. Human voices yell in combination with obviously digital synth sounds. There’s a sense of a natural acoustic space, simulated with digital reverb, but the reverb is sometimes sucked out of the mix to leave the dry sound naked.
Leaving that conceptual tension aside, Ziúr has come up with an original take on electronic music. As with fellow traveller Lotic, she’s no slave to club hedonism or the dance floor, even as her complicated, hocketing drums achieve their own sort of abstract funk. If her music is on Blackdown’s breakbeat continuum, it’s not on the one-dimensional line. It’s out there somewhere on the complex plain, circling around its own obsessions.