ZHU just made our morning with the surprise release of a seven-track album, Ringo’s Desert Pt. 1, which is a deliciously satisfying concoction of Burning Man-worthy tech house combined with a bit of R&B inspiration, a bit of dancehall, and classic ZHU vocal hooks. This album feels like it was beamed to us from a higher dimension, and not a moment too soon to pick up the vibe following the tragic news about Avicii to hit our community, I’m taking a great deal of solace in getting lost in a record that’s truly transcendental.
Everyone got a clue from ZHU’s camp that something big was coming when he put out an ad right before Coachella Weekend 1 that just said “Desert Woman” offering free nipple pasties — not his classiest move, but I can’t be mad at it. Rumors of a Coachella performance began swirling, and sure enough he played an unannounced set at the Do LaB‘s stage Sunday night. The album opens with an eerie desert soundscape, birds cawing, blowing wind, a twangy wild-west guitar, with a dirty-sexy synth that creeps in and kicks off a proper house beat and an airy ZHU vocal that opens up to become a duet with JOY. on “Stormy Love, NM.”
Other favorite tracks include “Provacateur,” which ZHU most certainly is, that has a haunting top-line synth and his signature, ethereal vocal that runs through a cavernous, intricate sound design which makes you feel like you’re at a rave inside a cave on another planet. “Burn Babylon” featuring Keznamdi and Daniel Wilson has that iconic Crystal Method sound with a dancehall vibe to the vocals and percussion, it’s fucking legendary. The record closes on a softer, sadder note with “Save Me,” a hypnotic, slightly slower burner that builds and holds tension in a way that leaves me reeling for more. Good thing this is only part one of Ringo’s Desert, here’s hoping for a second installation by the end of summer; take the trip below.