Podcast 561: Zendid - XLR8R
Wonky minimal from the French duo.

We introduced Zendid—the collaboration of Adrien Doumenge and Lenny Mailleau—in April 2016. It was their first interview, and really their only one to date; having heard their exceptional "George 87" in a Momo Trossman mix, we were excited to learn and hear more. The meeting was conducted one spring afternoon in London, with the French duo in town to headline a low-profile night at 93 Feet East. It was an intriguing booking because, while Zendid's masterfully produced wonky houses releases had proven to be much sought after with the DJs in their orbit, they were still largely unknown. Self-promotion had been kept to an absolute minimum; you couldn't even find their names online. And though excited to play—they'd been working to this point since teaming up in Toulouse, France since 2011—but evidently nervous, it was clear that Doumenge and Mailleau were still adapting to life as touring artists. They were still familiarizing themselves with artist pick-ups and were mulling over their representation. This was really just the beginning. 

Then, last year, Doumenge and Mailleau signed to Yoyaku where they've established quite a following and since been joined by Cabanne and Maayan Nidam, among others (their recent Discobar EP saw the latter on remix duties). Their success has coincided with that of the Paris-based booking/management agency, distributor, and record store: Zendid are now regular figures across Europe—think Club der Visionaere and Ibiza Underground—and have toured through North America (most recently with Lamache's Discobar crew), while Yoyaku's growth has already been well documented. Having seen them in Los Angeles recently, they've also matured a lot as DJs; their early sets could feel a little disjointed, full of stong cuts—many of their own unreleased studio jams—though lacking in flow, but experience has put this to bed. In terms of releases, Zendid's output has been minimized as focus shifted to their Timeframe label, which launched last year with their Am Isobho EP, but there's material ready (perhaps even an album), some of which can be heard in their XLR8R podcast. 

As you'd expect, Zendid's XLR8R podcast is filled with groovy, minimal house gems, but it's much deeper and more dubby than their typical club sets, with punchy drums and driving low ends. "We wanted to do something very deep as its a podcast," Doumenge explained on the phone.  And as always, unreleased Zendid productions feature throughout, so don't try to compile a tracklisting. 

Zendid will be performing at this year's Amsterdam Dance Event at THE TRIBE Invites Yoyaku (Day Time), on Sunday, October 21, with information here. ADE takes place from October 17-23, with information here

What have you been up to recently?

Recently we’ve been most of the time traveling for gigs and working in the studio making music. We also had a bit of time off during the second part of the summer and we took this opportunity to have vacation with friends. The last two years have been very intense and it was nice to disconnect and recharge our batteries.

You launched your own label last year, Timeframe. What’s the idea behind it?

That’s something we've wanted to do for a very long time. We felt after the past years that it's necessary for us to have our own platform and release the music we stand for.

Is this a home only for your own productions or will you be supporting other artists? 

For a long time, we wanted to launch Timeframe and release only our music on it. But we felt that wouldn't be likely to keep this project going. As we have so many good and talented artists in our circle, we decided now that it's more interesting for us to compile music from them as well. Now the second release is on his way, the music is from the French duo Loop Exposure, and it will come out in a few weeks. 

How and where was this mix recorded? 

We installed a booth at our studio for the occasion and we recorded the mix from there. 

Is there a particular theme or idea behind it? 

Well, as it’s a podcast and we don’t have so much the opportunity to play in that kind of condition, we jumped on this opportunity to record something deep. We really wanted something that people can listen to in different situations.

How did you choose the tracks that you included? 

We collected a bunch of our own productions, also from friends, and we included old germs that fit perfectly with the vision we had. 

You’re known to include a lot of your own unreleased productions in your sets. Is this mix no different? 

Not only, besides producing a lot, but we also dig for music and collect material from our friends. So we always combine both; it's nice to play tracks from other artists.

How do you think it differs to your regular club mix? 

A club mix would have been maybe played with more intensity, but not necessarily. It always depends on the moment, the location, and the crowd in front of you. With time, we got the experience to play in so many different situations and every set is different. We just try as much as we can to create a specific vibe that could work with the moment.

What have you got coming up in terms of releases? 

Some exciting releases are in the process, but the next one will be out soon on YoY, one Yoyaku's sub-labels.

Can we expect an album anytime soon?

Like the label, this is something that we’ve been thinking of for a long time. But an album has to be something special, and we have the material that could work for it, but, if we go for it, then we need to feel the project and the idea behind it. Only time will decide this.

Due to temporary issues regarding the GDPR, EU readers can download the podcast here.