Zadie Belfer-Shevett

Electronic music producer and performer

Easthampton, Massachusetts

Bookings via email (envelope icon above). I respond within 24 hours.


"Earnest electronica straight from the soul."

- Tyler Etters, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Klang Magazine

A self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Zadie Belfer-Shevett pairs heartfelt melodies with shuffling dance grooves, creating a captivating blend of downtempo electronica, house, techno, and breakbeats.

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04-07-2024 // New singles Avarice & This Is released!

Two new singles are out! They are shuffly, minimal, deep house / downtempo tracks made to wrap you up in a cozy sound blanket while you work or study. You can »listen for free on Bandcamp«. If you choose to purchase them, you get some fun extras:

  • unlimited streaming of both tracks
  • a seamless mix of the two tracks
  • the original longform live recordings the tracks were edited from
  • a seamless mix of those live recordings
  • full-quality lossless downloads for all of the above!

ok, so, how did this happen?

a lot of my music starts out as practice sessions (├ętudes, if you’re pretentious and/or a francophone), where I feel unpressured and explorative. Sometimes when I go back and listen to these I feel a new layer of appreciation for them - that was the case for both of the tracks on this release.

gear / signal

analog four mk2, analog rytm mk2, octatrack and microfreak all into Bluebox. Bluebox out back into OT and A4 for looping and effects.

avarice

if you’re not familiar, myhouse.wad is a silly, cheeky and utterly inspired piece of analog horror / ARG / creepypasta in the form of a custom Doom map with an accompanying google journal and forum posts. Very effective for those of us who were raised in American suburbs in the 90s/early aughts. For me it walks a very fine line between “actually scary” and “enjoyable on an artistic/creative level” :D this is an entertaining explainer/playthrough, if you’re interested. It has some very solid music, too. I love this track’s use of crunchy textures, swirling stereo images and these interesting jumpy edits where elements pop in and out suddenly. it was a direct inspiration for the practice session that spawned avarice. I recorded some loops and passages from the Microfreak and Analog Four into my trusty Octatrack, then slowed them down and chopped them up with LFOS to amplitude until I found a sound a bit like Change and Evolve. I layered some Rytm drums in my usual style on top, and yeah, that’s the first half of the track. As I was fading it out to stop the recording, I noodled a little bit on the Microfreak, and that turned into a whole improvised second half over new chords.

this is

this one was less conceptual, but just as fun to make. I had the inclination to record some loose hand-played house grooves as opposed to my usual method of using rigid quantization as a framework to create rhythmic intricacy. I laid down some analog four chords, doubled them at half speed an octave down on OT, and composed the beat over that. I played all the drums in live on Rytm’s pads, then applied various levels of quantization to each drum - so, for each sequencer track, I would play something in live, listen back, and dial the quantization up until the point where it sounded “in time”. then I dialed it back a bit. Simple enough, but I think it worked really well!

hmmm

The throughline (maybe you noticed?) is that these are fairly static ambient pieces with no bassline or melody. I worked them until that magical point with ambient music where I could listen to them loop forever. I took those beds and used them as background for what are essentially solo drum machine performances! I spent the winter mostly making breakbeats at 170+, so slowing things back down to house tempo (where it all started for me) was a real change. I think that contrast allowed me to approach these tracks with a new appreciation for the compositional language of downtempo and deep house. There’s all these fun and cheeky tricks you can pull that are just such a treat. like pulling out the kick for a few bars, messing with the up-hat… it’s classic stuff, but so satisfying! I really loved making this, and I hope my enthusiasm for the medium comes through in the recordings.

>> Listen to Avarice & This Is <<


>> View full audio collection <<