So for all you fans of experimental duo ZER0, you’ve probably been wondering where Uzzee and Sacha’s unique Electro sound comes from. The multi-talented pair has now dropped an exclusive new mixtape/playlist of their main influences, and trust Neon Music when we say that these well-equipped music producers have superb taste, which ranges from innovative genres such as Jazz to the edgy, underground vibes of Trip-Hop. And of course, ZER0 was bound to kick off their “Influence Mix” in the most surreal way possible by opening with James Blake’s disjointed piano interlude “Words We Both Know” that, since almost sounding like a traditional Jazz chord progression, cleverly fades into the idolised musicianship of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme Pt.2.” You’ll instantly know the follow-up to this Jazz classic, solely by the singer’s vocals because let’s face it…Robert Plant does have one of the most distinctive voices in Rock music. Therefore, with the masterfully performed riffs of “Black Dog,” taken from their 1974 untitled, fourth studio album, one of the industry’s most iconic bands Led Zeppelin should not feel alien to you and, by now, you will most definitely be anticipating a Rock N’ Roll extravaganza, but unpredictably ZER0 throw the mid-tempo, New-Wave Punk vibes of Iggy Pop into the mix.
Where are the Urban influences, you’re probably wondering? Without hesitation, ZER0 throw you back to the Neo Soul of D’Angelo’s “Spanish Joint” from one of the best Slow Jam albums of all time…the critically acclaimed Voodoo, followed up by current acts such as Kendrick Lamar and N.E.R.D. By this point, you will have pretty much decided that the “Influence Mix” is one hell of a mixtape, one that has taken you on a journey where you experience a variety of emotions…melancholy, excitement, sad, blissful, sexual and so on…And eventually, we get to the dark, twisted vibes of Massive Attack in the form of a slightly sinister version of their 1995 single “Karmacoma,” as well as Kid Cudi’s tribute to ole-skool Hip Hop “Pursuit of Happiness” and one of the greatest rappers ever lived…Tu Pac. After listening to this emotive selection of songs, you should pretty much know what to expect to hear on their recently released second, self-titled E.P….a fearless and creative group of flawless musical works.
Neon Music caught up with ZER0 to find out more:
Tell me about your new mix?
Music has to come from within, it is visceral. This mix transcribes our inspirational process. We digest a lot of very different songs from different periods and diverse places, and somehow they reappear within our music. This mix is a playlist at the intersection of our influences, where we find each other, where ZER0 lies.
Why did you choose these particular artists and tracks?
They all have a meaning to us and can be found within our first tracks, from jazz experimentation (Coltrane) to dancy club music, passing by Brazilian and African music. This is us.
Tell me about the track of yours on the mix ‘Orpheus’
‘Orpheus’ is our first single, and it is maybe the one that summarizes the best who we are. Putting that at the end symbolizes the birth of ZER0.
Where does the name ZER0 come from?
It was the by-product of an intense brainstorm. ZER0 is the absence of limits, the luxury of starting something fresh, and our entry into music adulthood
Who are your musical influences?
They are really diverse. We both come from a rock background, but then we like music like rap and electronic and then more experimental, free songs from jazz or classical music. So if we had to choose three… Kendrick, King Crimson and James Blake.
Which one of your songs epitomises your message?
‘Orpheus’, structured as a progressive rock track it revolves around jazz, rap, electronic music, and rock. Thematically also, it speaks about mythology, something that we both think is very important. We live in a world that needs more myths to unite people.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?
Sacha: A piano probably.
Uzzee: Hope, ambition.
What inspirations from your hometowns of London and Paris can listeners find in your music?
Sacha: Being from Paris, I am always pursuing this French touch ideal, with bands like Daft Punk or Justice. They proved that you could be French and still do music in English that would be meaningful. Also, Paris being a smaller city, people have no problem mixing very different types of music, since very different types of people are always mixing.
Uzzee: I speak London, and I speak for London. I try to represent an expression borne from the intense pressure that exists in my city, as a positive outlet of it, a diamond borne from the dust.
If you weren’t in music what would you be doing?
Sacha: I would probably be trying to make a film, which I hope I do someday
Uzzee: Polo-Horse trainer
What’s next for ZER0?
We’re finishing our next EP. It is quite different, you’ll see
‘Influence Mix’ Tracklist
James Blake – Words That We Both Know
John Coltrane – A Love Supreme Part II
Led Zeppelin – Black Dog
Iggy Pop – Night Clubbing
King Krule – Logos
D’Angelo – Spanish Joint
Roy Ayers – Liquid Love
The Pharcyde – Runnin’
Kendrick Lamar – Sing About Me
N.E.R.D – Provider
Joao Gilberto, Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso – Aquarela Do Brasil
Mac Demarco – Dreams From Yesterday
Outkast – Prototype
Massive Attack – Exchange
Massive Attack – Karmacoma (Portishead Experience)
Kid Cudi – Pursuit of Happiness
2Pac – Picture Me Rollin’
Public Image Ltd – This Is Not A Love Song
Loose Joints – Is It All Over My Face
Steely Dan – Hey Nineteen
ZER0 – Orpheus