Percussion has always played a vital role in establishing the label’s foundation of sound – nothing gets us grooving quite like drum-laden house music. TOR’s latest project, the Zaiana EP, showcases the exploits of this primordial desire. Darksidevinyl and Ucha come together to make their debut with the When We Dip label family. The two have established a sterling reputation for powerful afro-house, releasing on the likes of Connected Frontline, Deepalma, and Monaberry.
Zaiana leads the way with an irresistible groove setting the foundation. Deep drums and a massively warm bassline kick things right into gear. Piano chords bring house influences into the fold, as an afro vocal quickly hooks the ear. Jazzy tones come to play as we enter the heart of the track, providing classic musicality during the bridge, all before diving right back into the vivacious rhythms. Sitting perfectly at the intersection of afro, jazz, funk, and house, Zaiana is sure to provide dancefloor exhalation.
Ode takes things into darker territory, offering melodic arrangements for late night affairs. Elongated strings set the stage, while synths ebb and flow throughout the early stages. Percussion, yet again, takes the lead are keeps the vibe alive from start to finish. A big culmination of energy concludes with a firm kick, and the bassline adds grit as the track progresses.
To celebrate the double debut on TOR, we caught up with Darksidevinyl and Ucha to touch base on how everything came together.
WWD – Guys, thanks for joining us today! How is everything going these days?
Darksidevinyl – Thanks , all is great!
Ucha – Thank you. Everything is going well…
WWD – Where are you guys located at the moment? Is there any sign of things opening up a bit in your cities?
Darksidevinyl – I’m In Vienna, Austria. We are in our 3rd lockdown at the moment, hopefully it’s getting better soon.
Ucha – I’m in Georgia, Tbilisi right now. Same covid situation here. Hope for the best!
WWD – How have you made the most out of the last year during the extended pause of nightlife and gigs?
Darksidevinyl – The benefit was great for me, because I have released a lot of songs this year and learned patience during this period, hopefully things going back coz we miss clubbing .
Ucha – This period wasn’t so bad at all. Of course i have less gigs, but at least i can work on my music almost every day
WWD – How do you think the industry will change as we emerge from the pandemic?
Darksidevinyl – i think will be a lot of changes in the music industry – there will be a lot of partys everywhere, but surely with many precautionary measures ,
Ucha – It think it’s time some changes. Nowadays there are lot of young and talented producers who deserves more support. This situation will hopefully prompt this change.
WWD – On to the music! We’re absolutely loving both tunes here – especially Zaiana – which feels like an instant classic. The mix of jazz and afro tones is incredible. How did you harness different influences on the A-side?
Darksidevinyl – I am Egyption and African so this is in my roots – our soul grooves. I edited some stuff, and my brother Ucha completed it with his beautiful jazz vibe.
Ucha – Groove, Jazz and melody vibes! That’s what me & Mido (Darksidevinyl) understand well i think.
WWD – When did you guys first connect and start making music together?
Darksidevinyl – we’ve known each other for 2 years now, and since we first met we started creating music together.
Ucha – That’s correct: 2 years we know each other and we have lot of projects coming out…
WWD – How does making collaborative music change you process as opposed to being in the studio alone?
Darksidevinyl – Collaboration is a great thing , it makes you learn many new techniques in music production when you share ideas with a fellow producer. Working in a team instantly gives you more vision and ideas.
WWD – Ode leans towards more deep & melodic territory. What synths and VSTs were used on this project to create such a lovely soundscape?
Darksidevinyl – all the elements are live, I recorded the strings and the violin with musicians. Also we use some Moog synth and some pads from Arturia .
WWD – What artists and labels have you been listening to recently?
Darksidevinyl – I listen to a lot of different artists , from connected frontline , GoDeeva , Leisure Music Productions Etc…
Ucha – I try to listen a lot musicians, but my long time favourite artist still is: Henrik Schwarz!
WWD – You have each had tremendous success within the Afro-house scene recently. Which releases in your careers are you most proud of at this point?
Darksidevinyl – Thanks so much! My most proud release landed number 1 in the top 100 on beatport – my Elle Ep with Deepalma. I have a lot of releases but my favorite is the Antal EP on Akbal, and my last release with Connected Frontline – the Inyembezi EP.
Ucha – Thus far my most successful release was also on Deepalma. I made remix for:Keyano’s track called: Dan Dale. Ranked number 2 afro house Top 100 on Beatport and got big support all around the world 🙂
WWD – What projects do you have in the works for the next couple of months? Anything exciting you can tease for us?
Darksidevinyl – i’m working in a new afro house track with a great singer from South Africa!
Ucha – I’m currently working on my second studio album. Excited about this one so much. It will see the light in early 2022.
WWD – Guys, thanks again for joining us. We can’t wait to hear Zaiana crush a dancefloor this summer!
Darksidevinyl – Thanks for the great work and for the lovely interview. I really enjoy it , looking forward to our release , staying safe and healthy , thanks .
Ucha – Thanks for having us! Pleasure to be on board.
Darksidevinyl & Ucha – Zaiana EP [TOR013]
Release Date – 04.20.2021
Stream & Buy – https://xyzlabel.lnk.to/Zaiana