London based Undaground Therapy Muzik affiliate Al Zanders makes a welcome return to Roy Davis Jr.’s imprint this summer with Stars of IG. After a brief hiatus the A-Z Records founder and Balamii mainstay has created a playful, Chicago house and Nu-disco inspired three tracker.
“In a similar vein to the Guidance EP, this is a nod to the classic sounds of Chicago house and Nu-disco, done in Zander’s own style. Roy, alongside producers such as Quincy Jones, Boo Williams and Soichi Terada all influenced the deep and melodic sound of this release. B2 ‘With Racionzer’ features the very talented Ben Racionzer on the trumpet”. Al Zanders
Title track Stars of IG demonstrates how Zanders is a master of blending unique samples and grooves to create a cohesive sound. Highlighting the artist’s skill at using percussion to its full potential, the track builds into a mischievous yet serene soundscape. Continuing the theme of jazz laced house, Spring Boo is a sophisticated number, with glitchy samples layered over a shimmering baseline. Renowned for his soulful sampling and use of live instrumentation the slick Racionzer is last up, with the track name referencing Zander’s collaboration with musician Benjamin Racionzer on trumpet.
Originally from Sheffield, Zanders first released on UTM in 2018 with his Guidance EP, breaking the label’s sixteen year hiatus in not releasing any music. Regularly supported by his peers, Zander’s music has featured in Midland’s Dekmantel Boiler Room, Gilles Peterson’s 6 Music show, Leon Vynehall’s BBC Essential Mix, Denis Sulta’s Mixmag Cover mix and more. Zander’s track Long Gone on Blind Jacks Journey recently surpassed 3 million streams on Spotify.
Tapping into the sounds of deep, soulful house and disco originating from around the world, Zanders’ sets have seen him touring globally. Whether it’s a small basement club in Tokyo, XOYO in London or festivals including Lost Village and Gotwood. Started in 2016, Zander’s A-Z Records is still based in Sheffield and thanks to its diverse and bold output tastemakers including Mixmag, Resident Advisor, Boiler Room and DJ Mag have all supported the label.