KZA – 3 EPs review

Artist: KZA
Title: K EP, Z, EP, A EP
Label: Endless Flight
Genre: Disco/Nu-Disco
Format: Digital
Buy From: Juno Download

Over the past few years, Tokyo label Endless Flight (a sub-label of Mule Musiq) has released a plethora of music from artists such as Tensnake, Optimo and Betty Botox (aka JD Twitch of Optimo). This time, the label unleashes three singles from KZA, half of Japanese duo, Force of Nature.

A renowned DJ around the clubs and bars of Tokyo, KZA is lauded for having one of the largest vinyl collections in the country, one which spans spans the last fifty years. It is from this diverse and eclectic record collection that he sources the string of obscure rock, jazz and disco samples which make up these tracks, all originally released several months ago on KZA’s debut solo full-length album, Dig & Edit.

With this in mind, it is unsurprising to learn that Force of Nature’s earlier incarnation as Yotsukaido Nature delved firmly into hip hop territory. KZA retained this heavily sample-based style of production with his foray into the world of dreamy, cosmic disco. Supported by Kuniyuki Takahashi (aka Koss) on keyboards and synthesizer, KZA’s sample-heavy aesthetic gets your imagination running wild, with snippets here and there grabbing your attention because they sound unrecognizably familiar, or because they are just downright interesting.

“Aneugalam” is a slow grooving number featuring horns that conjure up scenes of bullfighting and a slowed down bassline taken from Chic’s 1978 classic, “I Want Your Love.” “Gothenergy” conjures up Giorgio Moroder and Midnight Express, with its thumping mechanical bassline. The synth melody of “Open Up” keeps your head bobbing while the otherworldly layers that creep up underneath keep your mind interested.

A little birdie told me that a track remix by Glasgow’s The Revenge is in the works, set to be released in the next few months – keep an ear out for it.

Review: Helen Luu