Image by Stefan Fähler
Berlin DJ and producer Ziúr has quietly and quickly made a name for herself as one of the most formidable voices in avant-garde electronic music. Occupying a prolific status in the Berlin underground, Ziúr’s sound has been in a constant state of evolution since the grimy, queer industrial debut of 2016’s Deeform to the deconstructions of this year’s acclaimed Antifate. With Antifate in particular, Ziúr seemed to come into her own more than before, finding the spaces between the doom core industrial, ethereal ambient and propulsive club sounds that she had most frequented. The resulting formulation of these influences established for Ziúr the closest she’s come to a signature style, and on her latest EP Blur she further extrapolates on those foundations set by Antifate.
Blur is at once distinct from its predecessor in that the music here feels closer to iterations of club sounds than the abstract utopia of Antifate’s collages. Whereas that album was rooted in the ephemeral, there is something far more urgent and present about Blur. It’s the embodied version of Antifate’s sonic aesthetic, more kinetic and visceral. There’s a movement here in comparison to Antifate’s preternatural passages of void and syncopated abstraction, yet it speaks the same language. The title and opening track sets the tone, a hyper-tech kuduro mutation that features throbbing and organically tribal drum beats against all manners of extraterrestrial electronic samples. It’s propulsive and more direct than anything on Antifate, but still distinct in the reformulation of its influences and sees Ziúr hone in on her eclectic international tastes. Rhythm appears to be Blur’s modus operandi, and Ziúr explores the percussive potential of her sonic palette. Fly Like A Moth is a flitting, erratic percussive phrase stitched from stuttering synths, plucked chords and distorted bass crashes, grounded by the slightly off-kilt pound of a bass drum. New Term presents garage breakbeats by way of Ziúr, glitching and reshaping every few bars to suggest the faintest hint of pattern. I Accept is probably Blur’s most successful application of the Ziúr aesthetic to the conventions of club music, an electro-synth cut that distorts and twits the receptive pattern of club just enough that it arrives at a beguiling sense of ambiguity while keeping you captivated with its familiarity.
As a footnote to the fantastical deconstructed distortion of Antifate, Blur is an exciting progression in Ziúr’s vocabulary. It extends the thesis of Antifate into a logical new direction, and proposes a glimpse into the future potential of what Ziúr’s sound may unleash. But then, for an artist who has been notoriously difficult to define, this may just as well be the resolution to Antifate’s argument, positioning Ziúr as ready to take new shape on whatever may come next.
Blur is released by Ziúr’s own Now Now label. Download the EP here and listen to the title track below.
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