To be honest, before I received the Moon Harbour newsletter telling me about this release I had no idea who Zohki & Roozlee were. I got a sneak- peak at the EP and got a feeling something was happening here, but after chatting with the boys that feeling was gone. It is now a certainty.
After years of putting work in the hip-hop scene of Germany the boys found house music and later, Matthias Tanzmann. And after playing the duo’s tracks for a few months Matthias decided to debut the boys on Moon Harbour. Last month they released their first Moon Harbour EP, One Way Out.
The release has grabbed attention from the likes of DJ Sneak, Nick Curly, Anthony Collins, Stacey Pullen and tons more. These are two guys everyone should be keeping their ears open for. They bring a hip-hop attitude to their house productions- house with swag like they like to say.
We got a chance to talk to the Essen City residents about how they found themselves making house music, whats going on next, and partying with Matthias Tanzzmann.
Hometown: Born in Iran (Roozlee) and Afghanistan (Zohki) and both raised in Essen City, Germany.
EP Title: One Way Out
Label: Moon Harbour
Genres: Deep House / Tech House
Release Date: August 17, 2012
Concept or theme behind the album:
Roozlee: You know we were traveling with Matthias Tanzmann about 2 years before we got the chance to release– he was playing a lot of tracks from us around the world and we were all about working on new stuff and following his path where ever he was. I mean, that was hardcore and hardworking really, we already had these EP already finished and then Matthias was like, “OK guys, you really paid some dues and you have some amazing shit, we´ll do that EP on Moon Harbour”. See from this side, one could say that it was a traveler’s choice… so the concept was really every mood we had on that trip. Not lying , it was really hard. I mean, hell yeah, we had them big parties so that’s where “Work it” came from, but then you have “My Swag” also. Thats a straight hustler track you know, raw to the fullest. We had the hard-knock life on the road and that’s where that type of power track comes from– toolish, but ongoing, working the floor, no stop, no rest just showing of that swagger! More of a competion type of track, “my swag is better than yours” style!
And then you have the reminiscing times where you start thinking, “man, we’re not gonna do it”, or “we better wake up get them real jobs you know”. This is where “Dreams” came from, it mostly represents our times in airports, sleeping on the ground, no hotel, no money left- sitting on the dock of the bay really watching the world go by without you! Sleeping in Ibiza at the beach, not telling anybody that we was that broke .Suddenly, you meet awesome people from Ibiza that let you sleep in there house and are so kind, giving you hope to work on…thanks Mario and Nicole from Ibiza! Then we became friends with Matthias, getting the sign you needed that you were waiting for to stand up one more time. To dream on and on…
Zohki: I think that’s why “Dreams” is my favorite one, ’cause when I was playing them chords on I felt that so strong. We was traveling a lot around Europe at that time and so we got a lot influences from all around- all the different cultures and different people, different DJs and sounds. We always tried to keep it direct you know. When you got an idea… lets go for it! No wasting time, no losing the moment, no waiting until you are in the studio .You feel it now? So open the laptop and go for it….
DJ/ Production experience:
Zohki: This is our first release in the house scene and definitely not the last one, but you know we are around more than 10 years coming straight from the hip-hop world and you can tell by them samples we use, but also the groove we have in those tracks. We already had two vinyls out in 2002 and 2003 and we sold a lot of mixtapes. Roozlee is well known over here in the German rap scene as wel and he was involved in so many big releases over here. We both still keeping our hip-hop connections and attitude you know, we don’t handle it like these are two different worlds we just do it, just work on good music.
Roozlee: I became a DJ through Zohki. First, I was his MC and rapping was my world, you know, keeping it real hip-hop… two decks and a mic. Like Gang Starr, later I was more into the Technics and wanted to do more on the decks. Anyways, producing was more my stuff, I learned by doing it like a lot of DJs out there. I learned a lot with FL studio, then later with Cubase and Ableton. I learned master mixing everything by myself back in the days. Now, Zohki became a very good producer himself, so you know we learn a lot of from each other, but i’m still the better looking guy.
Zohki: From our EP I like “Dreams” the most, but you know we love every track off our EP. We wouldn’t release it if it wasn’t like that.
Roozlee: We really like “Sable Sheep – Cotton” playing right now on some sets.
Support for the album:
The feedback is really amazing. Thanks to the legendary DJ Sneak for supporting. You know, it was like Larry Bird telling you that you’re good in shooting three pointers!!
-DJ Sneak: “My Swag” is killer.
-Tiefschwarz: Nice package, “Dreams” is our favorite.
-Nick Curly: Great release, “Work It” is the one for me.
-Anthony Collins: “Work It” is really nice.
-ONNO: Very dope grooves! “Dreams” is killer!
-Stacey Pullen: “Work It” is my favorite, but all will work.
-Super Flu: The beat of “Work It” is really cool.
-Sven Tasnadi: “My Swag” is a mega fat tool.
-Martinez: I really like the hypnotic groove of “Love Baby” and the deepness of “Dreams”. Will play these two. Thanks!
Future projects/ plans:
Roozlee: A lot of mail keeps coming in my inbox you know, Facebook email whatever, people from all over the world recognizing us, that’s really amazing. A lot wanna just say hello and I appreciate getting props for the EP and stuff and lot of people wanna work with us, so we all about working on new stuff. No free time for partying at all.
Zohki: You know, a lot of the big labels asking us now for remixes or just new tracks, that’s really amazing, but you know as Rooz is saying, we just hit number four in the tech house charts, like a little dream became truth, but no time for realizing at all. We working to keep that level high, we are not about chilling that much, we never was. That’s probably our Hip-Hop attitude.
Zohki & Roozlee: We just wanna thank Matthias Tanzmann again for his confidence in us and the whole Moon Harbour family for being so supportive and nice to us. They keep supporting us all the time and otherwise we try to give everything back. Next month, we, together with Matthias, Dan Drastic and the whole MH family are doing a Moon Harbour showcase in Amsterdam (ADE – Amsterdam Dance Event ) and later we travelling a little bit with him to promote the records.
Last, but not least, a big shout out also to our friends and co-producer on that album Agent! and Vito & Danito- a lot is coming from them also. Watch out!
Tanks again to all the DJs playing our records/mixes and giving us feedback for our records and giving us opportunity to work on our dream to just work on music! ONE LOVE!!