Spotify has teamed up with ZHU for a collaborative playlist titled ‘mint’, which features a diverse four track EP called ‘stardustexhalemarrakechdreams’ to start the playlist on a high filled with ambience and pulsating EDM.

Written during recording sessions in New Mexico, the EP begins with ‘Stardust (Intro)’ that sets the scene from the get go with swooping strings bleeding through the mix, combined with ZHU’s trademark restrained sampled vocals. The track diverts onto an EDM pathway through a thumping four to the floor beat and a resounding bass line, transcending into a dark thematic soundscape. ‘Stardust’ brilliantly pulls back towards the end of the track through haunting vocals that allow the remainder of the EP to have its moment to shine.

‘Exhale’ continues the march from ‘Stardust’ with strings carrying the forefront of the track, partnered with a clever half time percussion fill that forces you into a state of intensity & psychosis. However, the percussion becomes pivotal in the latter half of the track whereby the groove is altered into a more “broken down” state that allows for the vocals to take the full precedence they deserve. The space created within this style of production allows for the reverbed and delayed vocals to bleed pure emotion and highlight another side to ZHU’s composition.

The beginning moments of ‘Chasing Marrakech’ immediately feels like you’ve stepped back in time to the set of an old-school cabaret film. This setting fades soon after it arises into our minds, as ZHU utilises several electronic synthetic elements combined with the influence of strings to allow a near RnB swagger to occur. Melodically the vocal hook of “Baby do you want to run with me, to Marrakech” beautifully captures the moving nature of the track and ironically runs along with the flow to create an impressive centre point of the track.

The banger of the EP is saved till last on the collaboration with NERO titled ‘Dreams’. From an echoed and ghostly beginning, ‘Dreams’ halts itself taking a quick moment to reprieve, before enforcing itself through quite an emphatic bass. From this moment, you don’t think there’s any chance the track could lift in intensity any further, yet through utilisation of several sirens and arpeggio styled synths, ‘Dreams’ finds a way to move you into a new dimension of EDM.

Here’s ZHU’s new ep

And here is the new “MINT” playlist by Spotify

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author: Chris Salce