London-based music maker and DJ Al Zanders is already well revered by those in the know – his unique house sounds join the dots between deep, soulful house and disco. 2023 saw him return to Roy Davis Jr’s Undaground Therapy Musik and his own A-Z Records following a brief hiatus, picking up tastemaking support from Shy One to Midland. We caught up with Al Zanders to learn more about his latest release and his approach in the studio and DJing.

Hi Al Zanders, Welcome to Music Is 4 Lovers. How has your year been so far?

Thanks for interviewing me. A lot of changes, but been hard at work on a new project and enjoyed some great shows in London and Berlin.

In recent years, you moved from Sheffield to London. How do the two scenes differ? What aspects brought you to London?

In my opinion, Sheffield has a stronger music community, because the city has great musical heritage and is smaller. That said, London has a lot of interesting and fun music industry people here. Next month I’m excited to welcome DJ Kobayashi from Batov Records onto my Balamii Radio Show. 

What can you tell us about your latest release, ‘Mantra’, on your A-Z Records?

It’s my favourite nu-disco creation to datebased around personal sayings and idioms from my close friendsabout how they get through the day. It’s already been getting attention from Ame, HAAi and Bill Brewster which is great to see.

Often, your sets are described as unrestricted, and you carry an in-the-moment attitude towards them. Do you have this same mantra when in the studio?

Depends on my headspace. I just spent the last two months trying an extremely different musical direction, just to push my boundaries. Other times I want to stick to my guns.

What would be your ideal B2B?

I don’t have one, but I’m very pro-b2b. If I’m on a lineup I’m not afraid to ask the person before or after me to play some tracks together.DJing is fun when it’s a bit messy and adventurous, and you both learn what works and what doesn’t from each other.Perhaps, a fantasy of mine is to play with a minimal techno DJ and drop some Steely Dan in there,see how they respond?

Lastly, what are your goals for the rest of 2024? 

I’ve been very focused on a new direction studio wise, when that really starts to take shape I’ll be excited to share more. Taking a small break from performing till later in the year.

Al Zanders ‘Mantra’ dropped via A-Z Records on 19th April 2024. BUY HERE

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