Introducing... 仙 Senzu Collective

Written By Hannah Wolff on 10/13/2014


Look, the new music and visual art collectives thang circulating at the moment are hard to get a hang of, we get it. As a general rule, they are groups born from the hazy, unchartered dreamland of the interwebs specifically devoted to communicating in, slash navigating, a terrain of foreign symbols sans hashtag and @ symbols. And really, what is the internet for if not to #hashtag? Although these web-based collectives only began as a popular way to share the creative love in the late noughties, they come laden with what appears to be a prehistoric history of internal dialogue and communication, and an inherent assumption that, late as you are to the party, you’re already well versed in most of the underground-as-fuck artists on their bill. Right? Beyond their use of keyboard mash symbols, a sign of their internet savviness if nothing else, accessibility to these clicks-of-soundcloud is further complicated as very little is actually externally written on them. Take solace in the fact that while you were late to this weird bubblegum flavoured soundscape, Wikipedia’s invite probably got lost in the mail.

With that said, this week the interns would like to continue our cheat sheet initiative and introduce you to the musical stylings of the originally LA based Senzu Collective/Netlabel/Community of Artists. Self professed as a DIY NEXT LEVEL INTERNATIONAL CANOPY// (a huh), Senzu Collective consists of a group of hip hop producers and MCs from around the globe, pushing the creeping boundaries of experimental hip hop ever onwards with welcomed infusions of UK bass and LA’s beat scene. Roughly translated as a sage or enlightened person, in addition to their musical and visual stylings, Senzu works in collaboration with international relief groups and other artist collectives to create compilations as fundraising tools for those in need.

With 24 producers including Scott Xylo, Elyphant, and LA based producer ☿bluecrew☿aligned under their NEXT LEVEL INTERNATIONAL CANOPY// alongside 5 visual artists, the 'Zu is one collective growing at an unstoppable rate, helped along by their monthly compilation series featuring artists such as RL Grime, Giraffage and Knxwledge and a more recent dive, along with the rest of the world, in the direction of the Future R&B offerings of The Weeknd and Jamie Woon.

Below we have a look at 5 of the must-know songs from the collective’s infinite back catalogue.

☿bluecrew☿ Elyphant ° Fairy Drops {☿bluecrew☿ gloomy gulch rework}

This is a distant memory of hazy summer afternoons spent somewhere between white-light lens flares and barely there white sheets, as Facebook bounces promisingly in the sun-drenched background. All brown legs and skin, ☿bluecrew☿ takes the undeniably smooth feels inherent in future R&B production right back to basics, allowing your imagination to run wild alongside the scaling xylophone and suggestive vocal samples.

falls everything different. everything same.

everything different, everything same is an atmospheric example of flawless production. Blending an extended intro seamlessly into a soft, percussive baseline and echoey vocals, falls immerses you in his soundscape without a hint of reprieve. 

Bubblegum Crisis Loud Moves

The influence of Miami Vice is undeniably present in the San Francisco native, Harrison Pollock, aka Bubblegum Crisis’s production. Loud Moves has struck a dark chord in a way only retro can. While slick and shiny on the exterior, the song deals in a currency of debauchery lingering in the backstreets of a 1983. Bubblegum Crisis offers a little something different to the ambient stylings of falls and ☿bluecrew☿.

Sun Glitters / サングリッターズ Too Much to Lose

Different again, while Sun Glitters' / サングリッターズ Too Much to Lose remains ambient and echoey, the strumming base billows with surprising strength beneath the vocalists longing dialogue. Pulsating forward, Too Much to Lose is defiant in a way Fairy Drops could never be.

SageVideōs L E M O N A D E B A T H S

Joining Senzu Collective in June 2014, South African lo-fi dream wave producer SageVideōs is a new comer to the Zu’s mix. In the same vein as Cashmere Cat, L E M O N A D E B A T H S is a track offering expertly mashed together bedrooms samples and bouncy feels.

To dive even further down the Senzu Collective rabbit hole, click here.