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Selections: Zoë Mc Pherson

In this series, Selections, we invite DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their digital crates and share the contents of their collections. This week, Zoë Mc Pherson spotlights sumptuous R&B and experimental hip-hop, footwork, deep house, d&b and more

Zoë Mc Pherson delights in the unpredictable. On their third album, ‘Pitch Blender’, the Berlin-based, French-Irish artist conjures beats that spark, swerve and explode like rogue fireworks. Across 10 tracks, hyperkinetic drums reference footwork, drill & bass and the high-speed sound of singeli, but their music really operates on a plane of its own. These synapse-snapping patterns and polyrhythms are pieced together thanks to Mc Pherson’s impeccable sound design, through which they build a widescreen world out of shapeshifting synths, shadowy vocal chops and mercurial bass. 

It’s a dizzy formula that Mc Pherson has developed over years as a multimedia artist, producer, DJ, live performer and founder of the SFX label and AV platform. They’ve performed at festivals including Berlin’s CTM and Uganda’s Nyege Nyege, and have collaborated with artists like Jessica Ekomane, Ciarra Black, and DJ Diaki & Jay Mitta (as 3OK, more on that below), bringing an exhilarating sense of invention and ambition to every project. 

Unsurprisingly, their Selections are packed with as many surprises as their music, moving from experimental hip-hop and sumptuous R&B into footwork, d&b, deep house and beyond. Dive in below. 

‘Pitch Blender’ will be released on 3rd March. Pre-order it here.

Lil Uzi Vert
‘Just Wanna Rock’ [Atlantic Records/Generation Now]

“No word other than EPIC.” 

‘Tranquility’ [Self-released]

“Production by top producer Sega Bodega, and beautiful vocals by BEA1991. The arrangement is perfect. It reminds me a lot of some earlier Little Dragon, which I adore.”

Lala &ce
‘Fallait Dire Non’ [Self-released]

“One of my fucking favourite slow grooves ever: a little rough, very hot.”

Rainy Miller
‘Way Out (ft. Blackhaine, Moseley)’ [HEAD II]

“Is this in the charts by the time this article is out?”

Jill Scott
‘Golden’ [Hidden Beach]

“In case you forgot, music is, has been, and always will be medicine. Well, here is a capsule.”

‘Buzzing Crew (feat. Bluesy Gee)’ [Astrophonica]

“I think I want to cry because it’s perfect. Clearly, neatly, buzzzzzzzing crew!” 

Jay Mitta
‘Tatizo Pesa feat Dogo Janja’ [Nyege Nyege Tapes]

“Dogo’s flow, Jay’s production, it’s just glowing. For the story, that’s the track I was sent before going to Uganda last September for the Afropollination residency [a collaboration between artists based in Germany and Africa]. I thought I was matched up to work with the 14-year-old singer, and was a bit worried [laughs]. But in the end, we worked with Jay Mitta, core producer of Dar Es Salaam's Sisso Studios, and the one and only DJ Diaki! It’s the wildest shit! Mark that name: 3OK.”

Galcher Lustwerk
‘Bansby’ [Ghostly International]

“I love a good house track from New York. Vibes, vibes, vibes.” 

RIP Swirl
‘Blurry’ [Public Possession]

“Guitar rock electronic? Totally not my type of music, in fact. But I’m reconsidering! This is a diamond from the Hamburg/Berlin multi-instrumentalist.”

They Hate Change
‘From The Floor (Jana Rush Remix)’ [Jagjaguwar]

“They Hate Change’s album ‘Finally, New’ is already dope, but I’m adding some Jana vibes in here!”