Record Culture #9
The new, ninth issue of Record Culture is another strong collection of interviews celebrating the lives of niche musicians and music-related ephemera. In this latest Close-up excerpt from an issue, we meet cover star Bradley Zero.
Editor Karl Henkell explains that Zero was somehow destined to be featured in the magazine at one point or another. ‘Through his record label Rhythm Section, NTS radio show, and career as a DJ he is a strong positive force in the international dance music community.’
‘He’s hitting his stride at the moment, bringing a lot of artists up with him, and doing it in a really community-oriented fashion from his base in Peckham. All that combined is why we chose to feature Bradley this time.’
Terry Craven interviewed Bradley, and Matilda Hill-Jenkins photographed him.
Over to Terry…
You might know Bradley Zero as the DJ with the infectious smile, the former host of Boiler Room, or quite likely from Rhythm Section, the record label that’s been gaining seemingly-constant momentum from its home base in Peckham. Once upon a time, Zero aspired to be a visual artist, but music proved to be his lasting passion. Now that Rhythm Section’s influence in the dance music community is growing, as well as his own, Zero is using his label and NTS radio show to shine a light on others.
I mean, my first memory of doing any kind of event was when I just started to learn how to play drums, and there was a battle of bands at school in Wakefield. All I remember doing was a Metallica cover, “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” [laughs] And that was very much just sticking our feet in the water. There’s two things that led to the first gigs I put on. The first one was realizing that I enjoy dancing. Sounds weird, but I always thought of it as this annoying thing that you kind of — I remember that transition from, like, being a kid and not understanding it, to, I don’t know, coming into myself a bit. You know, my memory of dancing before I was like 14 or 15 was just being dragged onto the dance floor by your mum at a wedding. You know, like pretending to go through the motions and just being like, “What is this?” Or even before that being a kid running around a village hall, like, in circles, as fast as you can.
You grew up in West Yorkshire playing drums, and starting to play gigs. How did that influence your first notions of what it is to put a show on?
And there was something that clicked that was separate from just like trying to, you know, dance with girls or snog someone at the year 9 ball. Moving just became a joy, rather than something that you just go through the motions of. That was a major step, that, I don’t know why or how it happened, but there’s just something that clicked, where I realized that I liked and enjoyed dancing, just for the sake of dancing. Not as like some mating ritual, but really as just like an expressive exercise. So I think that was the first early breakthrough into this journey of putting on and creating dance music.
Read the whole interview in Record Culture #9, available now.
Editor-in-chief: Karl Henkell
Art direction and design: Holly Canham