Premiere: Zulu – Mentally I’m Here
On his debut release, the Franco-Cameroonian producer teams up with newly-christened Paris imprint, Deardogs, on four genre-defying tracks which combine popular reference, epic synth melodies and sharp percussion.
The fire cooked his eyes as they faced them, nude. He no longer experienced the flames with sight alone, but felt the heat overwhelm his body so that he himself became one amongst them.
He lost perception of his own relation to space and resigned to a condition of placelessness. Here, he felt most at home and would remain until the world’s cold waves swept him back to shore.
Through his DJ sets, membership of Parisian collective Bruits de la Passion and residency on LYL radio, Zulu explores the myriad forms of rap music from across the globe, skilfully interweaving tracks with electronic instrumentals to deftly confuse generic boundaries. With this in mind, some of the more eagle-eared listeners will recognise the referential significance of Zulu’s debut release.
The title track of ‘Smart & Loyal’ EP, made available as a single last week, is a track which basks in the strange and incongruous, featuring the unmistakable tag of DJ Khaled which leaps to the surface before suffocating beneath razor-sharp breaks and doomy synths. This is where Zulu thrives: in the intersection between playfulness, pastiche and sincerity, letting you get comfortable before scolding you for laughing.
Our pick ‘Mentally I’m Here’ – a nominal (and no doubt ironic) reference to internet culture – stands testament to this, as well as Zulu’s mastery of the switch-up. This track is tumultuous, steadily building tension which suddenly diffuses to leave you feeling stupid for ever being afraid. Watch out for Zulu, we think he might be on to something…