21 Aug 15
Played by: Alvaro Cabana (Rotten City Records), Chris Coco, Alkalino, Juno Recommends Deep House, TROBAR, Lrusse, Djs: Most Charted - Deep House
Review: Given the label's longevity and consistently on-point releases - in a variety of styles, it should be noted - it's somewhat surprising that Gilb'r's Versatile Records imprint is not more celebrated. Here, they welcome back Zoot Records founder The Maghreban (AKA Dr Zygote), who goes all Idjut Boys with a trio of heavyweight dub disco workouts. The title track - all booming punk-funk bass, horror-influenced synth flourishes and dense, live-sounding disco percussion - sets the tone, before he pushes things up a notch with the relentless, low slung synthesizer gooks and sweaty house beats of "Frenetique". Finally, he presses the button marked "weird-out" on the lolloping, jazz-flecked dub disco madness of "Kung Fu".
23 Feb 15
MT702 - (6:03) 119 BPM
MT703 - (5:59) 117 BPM
MT705 - (7:25) 121 BPM
MT707 - (4:44) 110 BPM
Review: Boot's sister label Zoot Records has been strictly reserved for the sounds of The Maghreban, an alias used by Dr Zygote to deliver his exotic and utterly singular brand of house music. As a side note, the man has appeared on the excellent Versatile imprint out of Paris and he' sure to pop up here and there over the next few years if he keeps releasing such tight little floor gems! The MT70 EP, as you'd imagine, is all based around the Casio instrument and you can hear that good ol' dustiness come through on all four cuts. "MT702" is more of a classic house lick, while "MT703" is more broken, rigged and finely twisted! "MT705" is abstract, less focussed on the dancefloor and much heavier on the instrumentation, whereas "MT707" is a synth-heavy house jerker with gritty percussion and that familiar Maghrebian charm. Hotly recommended, don't miss it.
23 Oct 15
Now Easy - (7:04) 123 BPM
Now Easy (142 dub) - (2:05) 95 BPM
Not Good - (6:51) 122 BPM
Hi Top - (5:26) 118 BPM
Review: The Maghreban has always been difficult to pin down, musically speaking. His last outing, for Versatile, doffed a cap to classic house and disco, while previous EPs on the Zoot label he runs (under the alternative Dr Zygote alias) have melded together a variety of house and techno influences. He's at it again here, with opener "Now Easy" sounding like a fusion of house-tempo hardcore rave influences, booming tribal house bass and wonky ragga samples. As for the accompanying dub, it's a straight up post-dubstep-meets-hardcore boomer. Flip for the rolling pianos and locked-in house beats of "Not Good", and the freestyle jazz horns, spooky electronics and low-slung grooves of "Hi Top".
11 Dec 15
Dynamite - (6:08) 122 BPM
Dynamite Drums - (2:48) 122 BPM
Calypso Christmas - (6:39) 121 BPM
Played by: Bal 5000
Review: Whether he's delivering Arabic-influenced acid house, off-kilter dub disco, or mutant techno, The Maghreban's releases on Zoot Records are always worth checking. This latest, hard-to-pigeonhole excursion is no different. He starts with the off-kilter drums, vaguely threatening rave riffs, fuzzy textures and quirky vocal samples of "Dynamite", a track that sits somewhere between early Meat Beat Manifesto, acid house and contemporary industrial techno. Happily, he's included a "Drums" version of the same cut for those who want to get creative in the mix. "Calypso Christmas" is strangely titled given that it's not calypso or festively themed, but it is a pleasingly sweaty, floor-friendly curiosity.
01 Dec 17
Review: It has become a tradition for London based outsider house producer The Maghreban to make records commemorating the passing of cats he knew and loved. One of these tracks is for a sadly departed feline named "Martha". Here the artist also known as Dr Zygote presents three captivating jams. One of the tracks features what someone said sounded like too many "Pots & Pans" and indeed this lo-fi and polyrhythmic number reaches near cosmic moments. The sombre title track is a reduced and slow burning jam featuring broken beats, gloomy piano parts and eerie pads that altogether create an unsettling atmosphere. he final track is a tropical and esoteric sounding arrangement he made using "Elka" X705 organ sounds. The Martha EP follows up two great EPs - Brooklyn and Lose It, respectively, released on the Bristolian imprint Black Acre in 2016
15 Jul 16
Review: Ayman Rostom has really taken to The Maghreban, with a succession of singles for Versatile and his own Zoot label that have shown him fully capable of bringing his sampling talents to the realm of house, disco and techno. The latest missive from The Maghreban comes on Black Acre, a label Rostom has previous with after that superb library music LP as Dr. Zygote a few years back. Two tracks deep, Lose It presents all that we love about The Maghreban; the title track sees a classic "girl I'm starting to lose it" phrase lifted off an early jungle classic from Boogie Times Tribe assembled with a monstrous analogue bassline and plenty of feverish effects tweaking in the mix. "Wrong Move" is just as smart, delving into the darkest depths of rugged breakbeat science.
11 Nov 16
Played by: Kiwi
Review: It feels like The Maghreban has been around for years but, in fact, the London-based house deviant released his first solo EP in 2014. Two successful years have established his name on the contemporary dance roster and, of course, releases for the likes of Versatile Records have certainly helped his name to propagate. He lands on the English capital's Black Acre imprint this week, armed with two unsurprisingly loose and hawk-eyed house experiments; the first, "Brooklyn" is an all-out synth frenzy, the sort of outsider house sketch with The Maghreban's familiar Eastern twang running all through it, while "The Carpenters" is a different sort of beast, a percussion-heavy, dub-fuelled tribal showdown with jazzy influences, and a mythical sort of tone to its harmonics. Recommended!