Electronic Blanket: Week 14

Sophie Ahmed chats about DJ EZ’s all-nighter, and a soundtrack to daybreak

7th March 2016

The days of wrongly assuming that electronic music is for carefree ravers who wish to disassociate themselves from the real world are long gone. Last week, Garage God DJ EZ used his skills as a powerful and valued force, heroically hosting and completing a 24-hour sponsored set in aid of Cancer Research. The live stream was broadcast through Boileroom to bedrooms across the globe, enabling fans to tune in and out at their leisure, for a cost of their own choice which went to a great cause. I started watching when the maestro was well into his 8th hour, and at this point he was still boogying away, which probably wasn’t the best idea considering he had to retain enough energy to last him 16 more hours. EZ has been in the business now for over 20 years, so manning the decks for a full day is a minor achievement in the grand scheme of things. It’s just refreshing to see a DJ using their recognition to improve people’s lives, as this is a power usually reserved for Pop artists in the mainstream.

You Need To Hear: Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons

Whilst I get hooked on tracks regularly, the obsession usually subsides after about a week, and I move onto the next best thing. This wasn’t the case with Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons’ extraordinary track ‘Lovers’ Eyes (Mohe Pi Ki Najariya’ which has held a permanent place in every playlist I’ve made over the past few months. Seamlessly blending traditional Pakistani Qawwali vocals with an infectious beat, 7 minute masterpiece transports the listener to a foreign land and succeeds in Lazarus’s aim of making music ‘for deserts, jungles and sunrises’. The heart-wrenching harmonies of Qawwali and techno really shouldn’t mix, but it works unbelievably well. Another combination that shouldn’t work is electronic music and live instrumentation, but once again Damian Lazarus defies this. Having set up his own label Crosstown Rebels, Damian has been on the scene for years, but his project with the Ancient Moons and Simian Mobile Disco member James Ford has only been in existence for around a year. The project released a full length album ‘Message From The Other Side’ and contributing to its international sound were Egyptian percussionist Hossam Ramzy, US jazz pianist ELEW and Mozambican guitarist Neco Novellas to name but a few. Lazarus aptly captured the essence of his music when he said: ‘There is nothing that compares to DJing under the stars in the night air or being responsible for soundtracking the rising of the sun in the morning and I wanted to create an album that reflects these beautiful moments’. If you’re a night owl that enjoys these times of day, get on this.

Listen To: Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons – Trouble At The Séance

Preview: Pirate Material w/ D Double E & Dub Phizix ft. Strategy, 10th March, World Headquarters

This week I’m hoping to end the term on a high with my first ever Pirate Material. Whilst this might be risky business, I’m not worried in the slightest as the line-up seems incapable of disappointing. Downstairs in the Grime room is supposedly ‘The Greatest Grime MC of All Time’ D Double E of the East London crew Newham Generals, and upstairs you can find Manchester’s Drum & Bass producer Dub Phizix accompanied by Strategy. I’ll be overcoming this North/ South divide by bouncing between the two rooms throughout the night. As long as I don’t miss ‘Street Fighter Riddim’ downstairs or ‘Marka’ upstairs, I’ll be happy.

Sophie Ahmed

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