Bradley Zero highlights five pivotal records in our latest In Five…

A respected selector in his own right, and the founder of Rhythm Section International, south London’s thriving new jazz scene has a lot to thank Bradley Zero for. And beyond the sounds bubbling in south London, from humble beginnings packing out Canavans for sweaty monthly parties, Rhythm Section has gone on to become one of the UK’s most celebrated labels. Festival stages, radio shows, club nights, live gigs, the Rhythm Section community reaches far and wide.

In celebration of five years, SHOUTS is a 36-track Rhythm Section compilation, celebrating the eclectic sonic of the label past, present and future. There’s breezy jazz and there’s high energy club tracks, a broad and bright landscape depicting everything Rhythm Section have become so beloved for. From Yu Su and Desert Sound Colony to Emma-Jean Thackray and Moses Boyd, there’s something in here for every Rhythm Section fan. Check the compilation on Bandcamp below:

We’re delighted to feature Bradley Zero in our latest In Five in support of SHOUTS, “a nod to the online radio culture that birthed the movement, the label using its voice to amplify its peers, SHOUTS is Five Years of Rhythm Section International.

On his selections, Bradley says “‘these 5 tracks are less about current tastes or coming of age classics, but more about movements that I witnessed first hand and key players that left a lasting impact on the way I perceive and engage with music.”

Iration Steppas – Warrior

Growing up in Leeds, my introduction to the dancehall was via Subdub, a regular dance held at Leeds venue West Indian Centre and hosted by Iration Steppas and Simon Scott (Tribe, Outlook, Dimensions). Subdub introduced me to the community element of clubbing, the importance of sound, and reinforced my African-Caribbean identity and its relationship to contemporary club music, via dubstep, a sound which, back then, was still new. The likes of Mala, Loefah and Skream debuted the sound there back in 2006, at the DMZ Exodus alongside the techno-indebted sound of Iration Steppas, playing dubs in their signature style that became known as Year 3000 Style. I was honoured to be able to invite Iration Steppas and Mala to take over a night for a date of my XOYO residency last summer. James Blake turned up to see Mala play. It was a pinch myself moment, and it underscores the importance of this movement in the wider UK music scene. Mali and Marc have stuck to their roots and remain hugely influential. My next selection follows on from this one…

James Blake – Postpone

As a student at Slade School of Fine Art, I remember hearing about this guy from Goldsmiths who was making tripped-out dubstep. He, like me, was a disciple of Mala, and the deep, meditative school of dubstep. He took this formula and ran with it, adding an almost symphonic sense of rhythm and harmony to the genre. I remember the buzz when this EP dropped. There was a feeling that our generation was about to spawn something very special. Then he followed up with the album and it was like “oh shit, he can sing too?” and that was it, the scene had given birth to a superstar.

Franco / Le TP OK Jazz – Tozonga na nganga wana

I discovered Franco’s music through the now-closed Stern’s Music store on Warren Street. It was right next to my university, and digging through those shelves ignited a lasting passion for African, Middle Eastern and Central Asian Music that persists to this day — from the deep longing we can hear in this Congolese rumba, through to Turkish pysch, Mizrahi alt- rock, Lebanese prog-disco and Azeri Mugham — the list is long but this number always resonates with me profoundly, despite not understanding a word of the lyrics.

Fat White Family – Touch the Leather

I’ve been collecting records and trying to make people dance with them since high school, but before this I was predominantly known as a painter and a rock and roll drummer. Whilst my own output never received much critical praise beyond “like Vampire Weekend at a crack house in Blackpool,” my old band, “The Saudis”  did go on to become the Fat White Family, a band who have been hailed as the saviours of punk, and of the most exciting bands in Britain by just about everyone – the NME awards and controversy to prove it. I’ve mentioned art school already. I never really thought of it as a particularly inspiring place, but I did meet a lot of interesting people and have the time and space to mess about with music and find creative ways of being, well, creative. One of these creative outlets was with Fat White Family’s frontman Lias Saoudi, his brother Nathan and his friends Saul and Alex aka The Saudis. We toured the lower rung of indie establishments in north, south and east London, one doomed UK tour which I could write a book about and one show to absolutely nobody in Huddersfield. It was a fun time! I’ve always enjoyed having fingers in as many pies as possible and this was a particularly liberated period for me of wide musical engagement. I chose this particular song because it was written during my tenure in the band, but initially existed as an art installation for Lias’ degree show: a pile of leather on the floor with a speaker repeating the refrain “touch the leather, leather.”

Hiatus Kaiyote – Fingerprints

I was working at Boiler Room in 2012 when we received the promo to “Tawk Tomahawk”. Shouts to Thristian for putting me onto that. To say this was a turning point in my life would be an understatement. Before that I’d been blind to Australia, its people and the incredible musical output. Today, a lot of people think I actually live in Melbourne because I’ve supported so much music from there. This album opened my eyes to the contemporary music of a whole continent and my gaze has been held firmly ever since. I’ve been back countless times, forged lasting friendships and seen the careers of Harvey Sutherland, Billy Davis, 30/70, Mandarin Dreams, Jordan Rakei, Sampa The Great, S I L E N T J A Y, Kaiit, Mildlife and so many more flourish. This is the reward of hours spent discovering and supporting new music on the label, at shows and on the radio. It all starts and ends with Hiatus Kaiyote. I met the guys for the first time at a special BR show we hosted in Melbourne at Michael Ozone’s downtown warehouse space in 2013, and seeing them consolidate local darling status into worldwide die hard cult following has been quite the journey. 2 Grammy nominations later and with tracks featuring on Drake and Kendrick’s albums, it’s quite a buzz to call these guys friends and say I was there from the beginning. I could have chosen almost any song of theirs, but this one always gets me in the feels, and I had it on repeat for the best part of a year when this was the only CD in my car.

SHOUTS – 5 Years of Rhythm Section INTL is out now.