Zahir in Arabic, means visible, present, which can not go unnoticed. An object or a being that once we met, eventually occupy gradually our thinking, to the point that we no longer are able to focus on anything. We can consider this as holiness, or insanity. The music is my Zahir. Just pay attention; lessons always come when you are ready, and if you pay attention to the signs, you still learn everything that is needed for the next step.
Tzinah Records: To start with, please, recommend us something to listen to while we go through this interview. It can be anything.
Beethoven – Für Elise; Then its Japanese electronic counterpart: Fumyia tanaka – Für Elodie; then why not my podcast ?
Tzinah Records: Could you remember when and where have you felt it for the first time that you were to become a music artist?
Zahir (de): You don’t become a music artist, you work for it. I would say this work started 5 years ago for me. Until that time I only got a night life party mood. Never pretended to be something else. And I still not do so. Everybody is a wanna-be, the main difference will happened in the studio i guess.Are you a bedroom producer killing yourself with sample packs, or you are looking for more ? Maybe you only work hard to buy an analog gear ? I have the feeling I made some wrong choices before about my production. I’m now working on it, slowly building a real studio, taking more time, no need to be in a rush to publish music. It will come, smoothly, maybe not with Zahir as such. by the way .
Tzinah Records: Why did you choose to create and play this particular type of music? Are there any artists that touched you deeply while developing your own style?
Zahir (de): Obviously minimal / dub techno are my kind . I would say this desire come from a personal feeling, music is art and everybody does see and feels art in its very own way. Mine demanding learning process comes from mental games, surprises during a DJ set or getting lost in rhythmic. Playing a 4×4 beat with nothing else than a double heavy KICK behind will not move me at all . Of course during years of digging I discovered artists who brought me deeper in the way as Ricardo, Petre, Max Loderbauer, Denis Kaznacheev, Laurine Frost, Cezar and many more. I like all artists whose music give me clear images of what they have been through or even better, of what they are still in ! You must have a dirty mind full of scars to produce such tunes, and I like it…
Tzinah Records: Please, briefly, describe for us, the current state of the underground music scene in the place you come from. Is it any good?
Zahir (de): I grew up in a south suburb of Paris, and I’m sorry to inform you that Paris hardly has any underground scene left as such. It actually means the scene is getting much more “pro”. It has literally EXPLOADED in the recent years. I moved to Germany in 2012 , I regularly commute back so i keep a close eye on the Paris scene. I saw big collective, organisations and groups really fighting hard to raise the level of the Parisian scene, I have seen names who never used to play in Paris, now coming regularly. Insomnia, where I’m a resident DJ made also a crazy work last year, and much more is coming for 2016. I think it’s now right to say that Paris is as big a scene than Berlin or London.
Tzinah Records: Without giving out too much about your secret weapons, please tell us how does the magic work in your production routine. Software? Analog? What does your DJ set-up imply?
Zahir (de): As stated previously, I gave up the bedroom producer style. I ‘ve always been working with VST only. I refused to use sampling. I prefer to release somehow strange music, but it’s mine. I create it from my own inspiration and mood. I have few analog parts in my set-up, guitar pedals for example, used as external effects. My goal is to have my own studio in 2016. Otherwise, I’m a big vinyl lover, I got 2 technics at home but a shitty mixer ! I’m a bit old school when talking about digital. Don’t get me wrong, but I tend to believe laptop DJ are taking a much too important part of the scene. Let ‘s push the roots, show your love for music.
Tzinah Records: What are the aspects of your daily life that are influencing the shape and sound of the music that you currently make?
Zahir (de): Nature, since everything comes from mother earth. So do we. I can walk in the wood with my dogs and get inspired . I listen to a lot of music, but do not want to miss my own personal sound .
Tzinah Records: Which underground house DJ or producer would you love to take out for a summer picnic? With which artist (from any music genre) would you spend 24 hours stuck in an elevator?
Zahir (de): For the picnics I would go on with Ricardo, groupie or not I do not give a shit! He has a musical career which is just amazing.
For the 24 hours elevator I wish this will never happen ! but if, i really think it would be interesting to meet with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or other guys like him. So called classical music never died and never will. This is the most timeless music.
Tzinah Records: Have you already played in your most-dreamed about venue? Which one is that?
Zahir (de): No I never did, yet. I would love to. I will. I’m conscious I need few more years to be ready. I’m a perfectionist and I respect the audience enough as well. I am talking about Sunwaves. There is no other festival in the world which brings such a quality of underground minimal dub music. And the crowd is very very very receptive to it, that’s also important.
Tzinah Records: What motivates you to be an active part of the underground movement?
Zahir (de): No particular motivation as such to be part of an underground movement . I just like to play music live and feel the vibes of the audience, I like to make a new beat and jaming with it at home.. I don’t see nor wish that this musical movement become for me a challenge or a competition. I believe that if people like my music , everything else can happen, I do mine with my guts and soul. Now ppl get a manager, a tour operator, a press kit and 100 K fan page data base it s all about the fame. I’m realistic about the work I still need to achieve before I can pretend to be someone “big“.
Tzinah Records: What’s your favorite type of breakfast?
Zahir (de): With or without sleep, is a good juice, slice of bread, and a very good after hours, like meeting friend at the P-bar. Taking your coffee with a clean mind in the middle of a post chaos party is priceless for me.
Tzinah Records: What do you do when the music is not playing?
Zahir (de): Taking care of my family. And of course, working.
Tzinah Records: What’s the story behind your Tzinah Family Podcast? How did you record it and are there released or unreleased tracks?
Zahir (de): I did this podcast the same way I love to play. Coming around 10 am in the morning when the crowd is already hot and fucked up as hell. Very sensitive not as 2 am where they are looking for loud kick and fat basses. At later sessions, the audience listens more carefully, more deeply, becomes more careful to each detail. They will hear the one second birdsong put in a track and go mad with it. Going slowly, deeper in the mind and play the up / down game with different kind of groove. I would love to share unreleased work from me or friend but I got not cd player at home.
Tzinah Records: Are there any of your plans/upcoming projects that you would like to share with us? Where can we see you play next?
Zahir (de): Upcoming plans for DJ will be with my team, Insomnia rec. Next big one , already planned will be in April, in PARIS together with Petre Inspirescu, Cezar, Praslea for Marwan Sabb bday party, he is the founder of Insomnia and real music lover, a very talented guy. For the production I guess I will need few month to be able to run the analog gear as it should be and release REAL music. As I said, I would like to take the time to do it right. You can listen my side project call Artov_ on Crocus next VA. And some other stuff on the way ..
Tzinah Records: Supposing you come back reading this interview in 10 years from now; could you try saying something to your future-self?
Zahir (de): You know, we know.. LCSP. 313.