WOMADelaide program

Zeequil

Australia

Lizzie Bradley and Mehdi El-Aquil deliver dubbed-out house beats, driving bass and melodic string lines under free-floating jazz vocals, resulting in a deep, hypnotic sound. For their live show at WOMADelaide, Zeequil will bring their considerable experience and unique styles together and be joined by percussionist Christian Teusner.

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FutureSounds V Festival program


Zeequil
: Lush, worldly trip hop married to jazz vocal styling and house beats.

https://soundcloud.com/zeequil


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Rip it up

Adelaide’s Zeequil played their hand of worldly trip-hop meets dubby house on the band stage, and dealt a mouthful of Lizzie Bradley’s jazzy pipes and Medhi El-Aquil’s chilled beats. Accompanied by an additional looped guitarist/rhythmic shaker, the trio’s free-floating electronic ensemble inspired a lush environment inside the small pub, and warmed up Futuresounds with a well-received WOMAD-style musicality.

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Future Sounds Adelaide

There are some combinations which transcend being simply 'a good idea' and move into the region of the sublime. The amalgamation of Lizzie Bradley's incredibly soulful jazz voice and the jaw-dropping production of Mehdi El-Aquil belongs firmly in that said sublime. Whilst their stylistic boot is located mostly in traditional trip hop, there's a swirling melange of other genres and influences here, with house and hip hop beats battling for space with analogue sequences, dub production and incredibly melodic string lines, all topped by Bradley's unbelievable vocals. Fresh from a stellar appearance at the Blenheim Music and Camping Festival, these cats are ready to bring their insistent, yet chilled, beats to your Wednesday night.

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Music SA

ZEEQUIL
LP “Here”
Reviewed by Tom Gaffney
*** 1/2

It’s so wonderful to see Adelaide electronic artists continuously popping up out of nowhere, reinforcing the idea of diversity in the fantastic music scene on offer. Zeequil, a seasoned duo who successfully combine worldly beats and trip-hop vocals to create something else altogether, is a perfect example of this.

The band, comprising of vocalist Lizzie Bradley and producer Mehdi El-Aquil, have recently released their debut album Here. It’s a bold (and increasingly rare) move to release a full-length without having a single and/or an EP under the belt. Given that this release is an overall well-composed piece of work, it seems to be a good idea for the duo to lay this down as their foundation. 

"Here" speaks out to those who adore the WOMADelaide events, as it is equally influenced by world music as it is modern electronica – in a similar vein as other local acts such as Xanga and Menagerie. This results in a unique landscape for originality where the duo can liberally swing between head-bopping beats, such as in ‘Rise Up’ and that famous lush house-like sound that can be found in ‘Hip 2 Hip’.

 

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weekend notes

"the unique combination of accomplished jazz singer Lizzie Bradley and experienced producer Medhi El-Aquil collaborating in the form of Zeequil"

 

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Cross Radar

Zeequil – Here

‘Rise Up’ starts things off with a strong world music beat and rhythm, as fragments of glacial melody begins to drift into the mix.

zeequil

Lizzie Bradley’s voice soon enters the fray, in a way that is reflective and provocative. ‘For Your Love’ is more spluttering and liquid sounding, with its ripples of crunchy tone that lays a distinctive foundation, while the beats tap away like a stripped down industrial background. As a track, it is insistent and one that demands the attention of the listener to lean in closer to discover what lies beneath. Heading in an altogether eerier direction, ‘Now You’re Mine’ sets up a curiously wavering landscape that allows for Lizzie’s voice to drift back and forth over, the refrain of “Now you’re mine” having a vaguely unsettling feel, as though singing a hypnotic ballad that has entranced an unwitting stranger. ‘Right Here’ shifts back into more of the powerful and insistent sound that has previously been displayed, this time with guitars in the mix that add a latin flavour to the sound which brings some chilled out vibes to the proceedings, while ‘Spin Round’ puts some jazz funk into things.

It’s this genre bending that makes Zeequil’s work so distinctive and fascinating. The blending of styles and moving back and forth from various sounds and tempos makes the music entirely engaging, while at the same time it manages to retain a sense of aesthetic consistency. On tracks like ‘Soul Memory’, the eerie vibe stands out so strongly, it’s enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up – and yet, when the bossa nova beat comes in and you hear the digital sounds with their 8 bit artifacts, it changes yet again.

There are, it has to be said, several moments on Here that the experimental side of Zeequil comes to the surface and the music wanders one hundred per cent into avant garde territory. ‘Hip 2 Hip’ pulls no punches with its expressive beat that has just the right about of bite to it, contrasting with the smooth and smouldering vocals, while ‘Waiting’s Over’ shuffles along with its opening chord swells that hint ever so slightly at the Chariots Of Fire theme. ‘Into View’ keeps the world beat going with no sign of letting up, sounding about as African as it can. The track itself is perfectly titled, as it feels as though it is revealing itself piece by piece through incremental addition. Here finds itself drawing to its conclusion with the final track ‘Outside In’, with more chord swells and excited hi-hats, while Lizzie’s vocal continues to do its thing, soaring over the music and often seeming to command the instrumentation by her voice alone, and bringing things ever so gently towards its completion.
Get Here on Bandcamp

 

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Nghtclubbing

Right Here - Zeequil.

Local Adelaide talents Lizzie Bradley and Medhi El-Aquil, have just recently unveiled a little project they’ve been cooking up for a while now - Zeequil. ‘Right Here’ will be featured on their upcoming album Here which I can’t wait to get my hands on. It’s chilled out and worldly, driven by a shuffling beat, laidback guitar strumming and Lizzie’s warm, gorgeous voice. 

Head on over to their website and join their mailing list for a free download, and if you’re in Adelaide, they’ll be playing Dragonfly on the 15th!

 

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