You may not have heard the name Zhu before, but you would have certainly heard the breakout single Faded which is being played in any club worth its cover charge and has overtaken the charts.
The track’s success is well deserved; with a heavy bass line with a now famous vocal overlay, the track has deservedly become one of the singles of the year. The mystery behind the young LA producer had many scratching their heads in the beginning due to the anonymous release of his early tracks. The liner notes to the EP shine some light explaining the philosophy is to separate the creation from the creator, describing himself as ‘my own ghost-writer’. Anonymity has become an emerging trend for a new generation of artists, most recently observed with Sia’s new album promotion in which the artist does no interviews and no publicity shots in which her face is shown.
Regardless of the philosophy, Zhu’s music speaks for itself and the quality of the production on display over the six tracks is worthy of the hype. Opening track Stay Closer sets the tone with falsetto vocals and dark alley bass which is then layered with keys and snares. Lead single Faded, the first track released under the Zhu moniker, is a clear standout and has drawn the template for electronic music in 2014. Second single Paradise Awaits weaves a rapid fire vocal delivery with down-step bass and is a worthy follow up to an almost impossible to beat lead single. Faults are hard to come by across the EP but for those looking for deeper club fare, there is perhaps an overuse of vocals on some tracks. Personally the standout track is the closer Cocaine Model. A slow burner with a vocal tale of two people meeting and the possibilities such encounters offer. This is the perfect late night record with both down tempo and head nodding tones, Nightday is a real standout in the modern electronic revival.