Interview/Mix ahead of his forthcoming Sneaker Social Club 12” , and his Fabric appearance this Friday.
Video by Ruairi Dunne, forthcoming Sneaker Social Club
Premiered by FACT Magazine
Sneaker Social Club label returns to Room Three with an incredible live show headline prospect from Scottish underground hero Neil Landstrumm, who put out his triumphant Montessa EP on the label recently, alongside DJ sets from Tessela, Deft, Bareskin and Cedric Maison.
Sneaker Social Club Poster 04 Complete!
Artwork by Martin Wollerstam
Sneaker Social is back in business after the still much-lauded 002 release from Al Tourettes, this time with a ravey three track EP from breakthrough Lithuanian producer Zoé Zoe.
The eagle-eyed spotters out there may recognise the name from Maya Jane Coles recent and excellent DJ Kicks mix as her ‘Church’ track sat comfortably at the heart of it.
In fact it is that track which kicks off this EP: growing out of bold, backward looking rave kicks and plenty of nicely textured synth chords and scraping percussion, the thing suddenly breaks down to the sweetest and most introverted of melodic breakdowns before kicking off like a mule once again.
On the B1, ‘Hollow’ is just that – big open spaces get filled with shuffling garage drums and perc, dissolving acid basslines and a thick church ambiance that makes the whole thing sound like some faint and distant memory. It’s cerebral stuff that also packs a physical punch.
Final track ‘October’ is another raw, explosive track made of rusty synth lines and knackered drums. Its charges along like glitchy techno but some warm Detroit pads bring a subdued house vibe to the arrangement that results in a most compelling stylistic duality – fresh fresh sounds, for sure.
This could well mark the arrival of a bright new talent with plenty to offer – just as Sneaker Social aims to do with each any every release.
Vinyl only release as mysterious as it is limited … fantastic bootleg straight from Bristol! Will be available on the 26th November
XLR8R Review: 7.5/10
There are no frills on Zoé Zoe’s Church EP. There are no leftfield curveballs, ambitious bendings of genre, or avant-garde experimentations—and that’s certainly not to the record’s detriment. Rather than attempting to create a daring new sound or spearhead a micro-movement, the elusive Lithuanian producer born Mantas Stonkus has achieved a more modest (but no less demanding) accomplishment: he has crafted an expertly tailored bundle of deep-house tunes on what appears to be his first official release as Zoé Zoe.
His outstanding work has not gone unnoticed. Most notably, the titular track was featured on the recent DJ-Kicks mix by house phenom Maya Jane Coles, where it was placed alongside cuts by venerated artists like Claro Intelecto and Virgo Four. “Church” is a big-room house bomb with a lot of flash and intensity packed into its blazing cord stabs and booming, garage-leaning drums and bass. The cramped mix gives way to a wobbly refrain built around a woozy melody and pitched vocals that sound like they’re being played in reverse, which pits the hard-hitting 130-bpm percussion against moments that seem to be moving in slow motion. In the end, the song’s fierce, charging vigor is matched only by its precision.
Outside of the EP’s centerpiece, Stonkus’ work remains airtight. “Hollow” is a more eerie, quieter take on the sounds he tackled on “Church,” with wavering synths and softer, shuffling garage percussion. The record’s final track, “October,” employs similarly dizzy synth pads and breathy percussion while Markus assembles a tiny melody beneath layers of soaring cords, pulsing kicks, and foggy vocals, but the song’s tempered mood and attention to minute loveliness keeps the proceedings from going stale. It’s a fine example of why the Church EP stands out—not because its sounds are entirely novel, nor because it makes strides down some less-traveled musical paths, but due to its mastery of established sounds and forms. None of Zoé Zoe’s tricks are new, but they are certainly well executed.
RA Review: 4/5
Zoé Zoe is further persuasive evidence of Lithuania’s growing talent pool (see also: Mario & Vidis and Planet Mu’s Few Nolder). Just ask Maya Jane Coles, who bagged the title track of the Church EP for her recent DJ-Kicks. Like its two EP siblings, “Church” uses distinct rave notes. In this case, that means kicking off with a fat breakbeat and dynamic keyboard stabs that cease for 30 seconds to allow some mournful backward pads to join in the fun, before turning full circle and heading back to the 4/4 party. It’s a winning combination of subtlety and brutality. “Hollow” is a more complicated affair, a marriage of metallic UK garage percussion and rippling floaty, dubstep-style synths on top of a bruising techno foundation. Tom Middleton would be proud of the warm, shiny, analogue hug that “October” gives you—although there’s no danger of you turning goo-goo over it. The fizzing, distorted, mechanical rhythm that Zoé Zoe underpins it with sees to that.
DJ Mag Reviews: Killers
Very pleased to have been listed as one of DJ Mag’s Killer tunes for July, we also received an 8/10 review in the Dubstep section (it’s rave though yeah innit?)…
The review reads…
“The title track here, first heard on Maya Jane Coles ‘DJ Kicks’ recently, is the kind of thing which makes you stop in your tracks and say ‘What the fuck is that?’. The Product of a new Lithuanian producer, ‘Church’ is suitably celestial and lofty in its ambition, a strange, hard to pigeonhole breakbeat caper of slipping, sliding, chopping midtempo jungle breaks and stepping keys; shafts of light through stained glass windows, diffuse motes of dust dancing in the rays; the weird backwards tones, emotive, alien, when they appear, evoking nothing less than bouncing from cloud to cloud. It’s a trip, a heady one, beautiful and otherwordly, with a zone of sub bass tones operating below. Oh yeah, the other tracks are excellent, too…”