The Rhythm Section boss joins the dots between Marc Houle and Nina Simone.
Like most people, DJs and producers have specific songs tied to events throughout their lives. In Crate Expectations, we extract a playlist from their memories to tell their story. This week's subject is Rhythm Section boss Bradley Zero. Known to millions around the world as the guy who used to host Boiler Room, Zero's a DJ of truly global renown and a proud Peckham resident. Since last year his south London imprint has gone from strength to strength, releasing records by the likes of Al Dobson Jr, Chaos in the CBD and Henry Wu. They like to keep things local and their parties at Canavan's on Rye Lane have become stuff of legend. Tomorrow sees the release of a new 12" on the label —Technician by newcomer Contours— and a 4th birthday party celebration at everyone's favourite pool hall with Beautiful Swimmers taking the reigns for a night to remember. To celebrate that, we asked the NTS host all round good guy to take us through his very, very, very impressive record collection.
THUMP: What was the first song you ever loved?
What are the first two songs you ever mixed together?
Bradley Zero: Maybe not the first two per se, but these where a couple of the first records I bought, back in minimal techno days. Still sounding great to this day.
What's your guilty pleasure song?
It's got to be this. The giggle at the beginning...the constant reference to red lights...the key change...strictly for special occasions!
What's a song you've had on repeat in the last month?
It's been this for the last few months. Jordan is phenomenal, prodigal, inspirational. He's also only 23 and has so much more to give, which is almost scary. I picked this up last year in Melbourne and I've since come to count Jordan as a friend. In fact I helped him move over to south east London from Brisbane last year. He landed on NYE and came straight to Rhythm Section that night. A baptism of fire!
If you could only pick one what's your favourite Rhythm Section releases to date?
I'm going to choose two because they are the most perfect compliment to each other. To me this unintentional duo of tracks sums up a powerful, ethereal feeling, a moment in time. They take their influences from so many places but come out with a sound that is so now and so very London, so very Peckham to be precise. it's emotional. The ying and the yang. You can feel the sun burn your retina as Henry's synths sear through the groove, while Chaos in the CBD's keys set an altogether more eerie sonic landscape, obscured by darkness, but with a gentle beauty shining through. Both are an ode to the place we all call home, and that connection is a deep one.
What track are you most excited to drop in your sets?
I love slowing things down in the middle of the dance. This starts slow and just gets slower, never losing an ounce of energy. There's some great soul music being made today.
What's your favourite track that you wished worked in a set?
The best ones are the hardest to work in, but wait for the right time and the pay off will be special.
What's the last song you want to hear before the lights go on?
This killer edit from Peckham's very own Stupid Human. "I want this night to last, time's passing much too fast for me, don't wanna run around, I wanna slow things down you see. Let's do everything in slow motion"
The next Rhythm Section release drops tomorrow. Check out their back catalogue right here.