Tag Archives: Organ Tapes


This year, FACT Magazine offered me the opportunity to compile a “25 Best Club Tracks Of 2015” list and after weeks of agonizing over the selections, it went live last week to many readers’ consternation. Unfortunately, a good deal of tracks that I would have liked to include didn’t fit in to the feature’s scope, which was more of less limited to club-focused material and original works (a self-imposed limitation). The following 25 tracks either aren’t aimed at the dancefloor, fit the club-theme or just didn’t quite fit the rubric for the column. Like the FACT list, we’ve kept this one in alphabetic order and considering that these songs come from across a ridiculously wide spectrum we felt there was no need to order them otherwise. Hit the links below to listen to each respective track and enjoy. Big thanks to anyone and everyone who has stuck with us, enjoyed our releases and/or followed the FACT column.

Acre – Always Crashing

Acre x Justine Skye – Never Physically Leave (Prince Will Edit)

Angel-Ho – Yah Cunt

DJ Haram & Mhysa – No Ordinary Love

DJ NJ Drone – Banger (Fools)

Elysia Crampton – Lake

Faro – Hold U (Hi Tom Edit)

Fis – Kal

GAIKA – Sodium

Haleek Maul – Medicine (ft. Kit) [prod. Haleek Maul & Shy Guy]

Iglew – Urban Myth

Jacques Gaspard Biberkopf – Spirit

Joey Labeija – Euphoria

Kadahn – Arc Eye Matter

Kuedo – Cellular Perimeter

Lotic – Heterocetera

Mechatok – Mass Appeal

Mr. Mitch – Dru (Peace Edit)

Rabit & Myth – Lonely Backseat Love

Pan Daijing – DISEASE 疾

Pitcheno – K1. 不明白” (feat. Organ Tapes)

Smurphy – Missing2MyBB

Strict Face – Into Stone

Teeflii x Mr. Mitch – 24 Hourz x Feel (Rabit Blend)

Tim Hecker – Stab Variation (SHALT Edit)


Next week, London outfit Tobago Tracks will release Organ Tapes‘ debut mixtape, the vocal-heavy WORD LIFE. First grabbing our attention via his collaborative (with Pitcheno) cover of Future and Kanye West’s “I Won”, Organ Tapes has become one of our favorite artists over the past few months, both for his beatific, slightly androgynous vocal work and for his bizarre, ambient-noise heavy beat work. “心雨”, from WORD LIFE, recalls Mario Winans and Chief Keef in equal measure, a track with a slightly underwater feel and one of the strongest vocals to date in the Organ Tapes catalogue. Be sure to check out Organ Tapes’ Astral Plane mix and look out for the release of WORD LIFE on September 23.


While Tim Zha has worked under the Organ Tapes nom de guerre for some time now, his vocal explorations and lo-fi take on digital pop only recently entered our ear space, the result being near-immediate obsession. Growing up listening to everything from ambient and noise to 50 Cent and Eminem, musical sources drawn from friends and television, Zha split his childhood between China and the UK and now lives in London, taking his place in the sprawling, yet intimately creative cultural metropolis. Recently, the Organ Tapes project has been lapped up by Pitcheno and his machine-minded Tobago Tracks label, Zha’s best track to date “K1. Bu Ming Bai” appearing on a TT single several months ago.

Working with and taking inspiration from the sounds of dancehall, afrobeat, bop and Future, Organ Tapes sings in a low slung, sultry manner, both swimming in the pool created by his influences and taking them beyond the cloud cover into another, moon-drenched environment. Like fellow newcomers Malibu and Blaze Kidd, Zha is re-instituting the role of voice in club-not-club music, utilizing motifs from a place-less club world in his beatific covers and originals. And with a special, vocal-focused mixtape on the way, it’s easy to see that Zha is becoming increasingly confident in his voice in song writing, not to mention his acumen with roughneck club tracks that are also on the way. Throw on Organ Tapes’ Astral Plane mix and scroll below for our Skype talk with the artist, touching on the topics above as well as his thoughts on the club, ascension and his roll as a live performer. This is one of our most non-dancefloor-oriented mixes in a while so get cozy and delve in.

What were your first experiences listening to hip hop and R&B?

Pretty much as far back as I can remember I’ve been excited about hip-hop music. I remember 50 Cent and Eminem videos on MTV Asia  / Channel V really exciting me as a child, but it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I really got into rap & RnB. At the same time I was probably equally if not more into guitar music and ambient and noise music. I don’t think my environment growing up made any one musical form or set of aesthetic references feel naturally dominant or the norm. Or maybe I’ve just always been resistant to the idea that any one form or style can be function as dominant or the norm for me. There’s a lot of freedom in moving between and drawing upon a wide variety of forms and styles, but that also brings with it certain anxieties over whether I’m meaningfully or appropriately interacting with them…

How did you hook up with Pitcheno and Tobago Tracks? -What is your creative relationship with Pitcheno look like?

I met Robert (Pitcheno) and the rest of the TT squad through a friend who does the label’s graphic design work. I think not long after we met TT started gravitating away from being a more club-focused label and what I was doing kind of fit the bill for the sounds they were wanting to start expanding into. I’m super grateful for their support because before linking with TT no one really knew or gave a shit about any of the music I made – Organ Tapes is an old, old project.

As for our creative relationship, I think it’s developed quite organically. I think Robert knows that I can be quite private and controlling about the way I work but “K1. Bu Ming Bai” was made really smoothly and organically despite me being unused to much collaboration. It was definitely a different process to how I work on my own but I’m hyped on it.

There’s an interesting cohort of London artists pushing Caribbean sounds and reinterpreting R&B in interesting ways. Endgame, Kamixlo, Blaze Kidd, Malibu, etc. Do you guys get together to talk and share ideas or is it more spontaneous? -Are you excited by what’s going on around you?

Yeah, there are definitely a lot of people that are doing a lot of exciting things in London right now. I don’t really know a lot of people personally to be honest, but I’ve spoken to Endgame a bit and I have huge respect and love for everything him and the rest of the artists you just referenced are doing.

Although London is definitely a hub for this kind of cultural activity (London is a hub for cultural activity in general, tbh), it’s definitely not a geographical movement.  So many people all over the place are making music that is reflective of and responsive to our present historical moment. A lot of this music is quite political (consciously, in addition to the inherently political aspect to all music) and I don’t think that’s a coincidence… Hand in hand with the establishment of a “post-club”, “post-generic” sound and redefinition of the club as a space that so many of the artists you just mentioned are engaged in is a broader will to redefining oppressive dominant narratives and reclaiming the idea of “neutrality” from them, attempting to replace it with something broader and more inclusive.

With that being said, although I think it’s interesting and exciting to see the Internet generating these quite Utopian artistic impulses, I’m also wary of overstating its potential for instigating real positive social or political change on any broad scale…

Hit the jump to read the rest of the Organ Tapes interview and check out the track list…

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For the past year, the Watford-based Tobago Tracks label has matched UK producers with international artists in a six part EP series. So far, the label has focused on France, Turkey and the US and their latest volume, out May 26, brings China into the mix. Tobago Tracks artists Pitcheno and Organ Tapes feature, as well as Laura Inglass and Macchina as the tape touches on techno, grime and R&B in sprawling fashion. We were lucky enough to grab Pitcheno’s Organ Tapes-featuring “K1. 不明白”” for premiere, a brilliant pseudo-cover of Future and Kanye Wests “I Won”. At a loping dancehall-pace Pitcheno’s bracing production matches clattering, reverb-clad kicks with whooshes of noice as a fragile, beatific melodic quotient and children’s voices slowly build into a feverish atmosphere set around the percussive pillars. It’s a surprisingly prescient piece of contemporary pop, matching the feel good nature of Caribbean forms with an ambient sensibility and a brilliant piece of heavily processed vocal work. In a sense, it’s pop music and the quote-on-quote underground working hand in hand, but the track is removed from both contexts, both too overt in its form to work as a piece of collage/sound art and too sonically abrasive to function as a clear cut pop number. Instead, “K1. 不明白”” exists in a nether region between the two worlds, grasping at wispy elements from both and placing them inside its internal brilliant collider. Grab Tobago Tracks Vol. 4: China next Tuesday (May 26).