Release Date: Aug 14, 2012
Record label: Hippos in Tanks
Pioneering dance label Hippos In Tanks are the new home of Nguzunguzu, who won a small following with their Timesup EP and two storming mixtapes. Anyone expecting the party to continue here is in for a shock: Ama Maroof and Daniel Pineda were never the most rational duo in bass music, hanging on the edge of the niche scene where dubstep meets psy-trance patches. This release forgoes the highs for experimentation, which might not be good news for the DJ but will mean a lot of software trainspotters now have to say En-Goo-Zoo En-Goo-Zoo.
L.A. production duo Nguzunguzu had a big 2011, handling mixing duties for M.I.A.'s return-to-form Vicki Leekx mixtape and offering one of the year's best long-form mixes in A Perfect Lullaby. Based on iTunes play count, Lullaby was the thing I listened to most last year, 48 freewheeling minutes of global bass and pop that reinforced the idea that genre doesn't matter as long as it bangs.
The LA-based duo of Asma Maroof and Daniel Pineda got some of their biggest press after mixing MIA’s 2011 Vicki Leekx mixtape, but between their work on the genre-chopping mix A Perfect Lullaby and their original mixes, they’ve been deservedly taking their own step into the spotlight in recent months. While the duo’s second EP under the Nguzunguzu heading is titled Warm Pulse, it features more of their heavily textured, cool, calculated electronic wizardry. Upon listening to this EP, it’s tempting to imagine that the band name would double as the scientific name of an eerie, glowing fungus that grows in world’s deepest caves.
Just face it—you’re not going to be able to put your finger on Nguzunguzu (pronounced en-goo-zoo en-goo-zoo); you’re not going to categorize it into any specific genre; and you’re definitely not going to find some flavor-of-the-week to compare it to. Comprised of Chicago Institute of Art-educated DJs Asma Maroof (M.I.A.‘s touring DJ) and Daniel Pineda, LA’s Nguzunguzu marks its territory with stark complexity and unashamed weirdness. Typically, the duo does so by craftily mixing hip-hop and R&B samples (they’ll even go as far as using Dolly Parton’s chops like they did with their Kenzo show) with their own obscure, ethereal synth melodies.