Unstoppable Heat Beat pioneers NO ZU release new album Afterlife, the fittingly-named sequel to 2012’s Life. It sees the eight piece group venture into deeper, darker, more urgent territory. Chanted female vocals, pitched down male vocals, wild sax and horns coalesce into something uniquely antipodean, a bluestone back-alley hallucination that NO ZU call Heat Beat – a nocturnal sex dream bringing together no wave, funk, house, techno, and global percussion.
According to band leader Nicolaas Oogjes, Afterlife explores themes of human beauty, body movement, BDSM, belief systems, mortality, immortality, the fetishisation of Australian colonial invasion and destruction of land/cultures, all sung in dynamic dancefloor metaphors.
NO ZU have existed in various forms since 2007, but have really shifted into high gear of late. They contributed the standout track Raw Vis Vision to Cut Copy’s definitive 2014 Melbourne dance compilation Oceans Apart, and instigated an ongoing collaboration with NYC punk-funk icon Sal P (Liquid Liquid).
In the last year they have played festivals like Sugar Mountain, At First Sight and Camp Doogs, and released the Greek-themed Medusa Music 12” on Home Loan Records. November saw NO ZU team up with pals Cutters Records for a remix 12”, featuring souped-up versions of Afterlife album tracks Hi Gloss and Ui Yia Uia.