Born in Beijing and based in Berlin, Dj Zhao is an amateur musicologist and professional booty shaker, bringing a poly-cultural understanding of rhythm to his deeply percussive sets, some of which might be loosely termed “Northern Tropical”. Not restricted by time, place, or style, depending on the occasion, Techno, Kuduro, House, Kwaito, Elektro, Acid, Juke, Jungle, Jersey Club, Azonto, Post-Dubstep, Dancehall, all might have its place during the course of the night, connected by an artful sense of composition and mixing technique. For instance, when Dj Zhao rocks the main room at Berlin’s Berghain Club, the techno booming out of those Function One speakers are polyrhythmic and recalls African beat patterns. Revealing the ancient rhythm roots of the latest and sickest electronic and bass sounds, or showcasing the sweetest and heaviest dance music from all over the globe, Dj Zhao creates unique and exhilarating dance floor experiences.
Unlike most other good djs, Dj Zhao not only rocks the crowd, but often brings a feeling of sonic adventure and the unexpected to his many epic nights, and sometimes introduces the audience to new textures and flavors they most likely have never previously encountered. With Mashup and Re-Edit work directly connecting “East” and “West”, acoustic and electronic, traditional and hyper-modern, Dj Zhao creates hybrid genres such as Gamelan-Step, Sufi-Bass, Voodoo-Dub, and Juju-Juke, making “Ancient-Futurist” musical collages at once mind expanding and dance-floor exploding.Performing solo and with NGOMA Soundsystem since 2007 all over Europe and the world, DJ Zhao has shared the stage or bills with artists such as Untold, 2562, Cooly-G, Shackleton, Shangaan Electro, Konono No. 1, Rhythm and Sound, Appietus, and Pan Sonic.
VIDEO (with Ngoma Soundsystem):
Fusion Festival (Germany)
Club Transmediale (Germany)
Incubate Festival (Netherlands)
Worldtronics Festival (Germany)
EXIT Festival (Serbia)
Treffpunkt Afrika (Austria)
Solar Weekend Festival (Netherlands)
Ethnoport Festival (Poland)
Berghain (Berlin, Germany)
Ritter Butzke (Berlin, Germany)
About://Blank (Berlin, Germany)
Cassiopeia (Berlin, Germany)
RAW Temple (Berlin, Germany)
UT Connewitz (Leipzig, Germany)
Klub K (Heidelberg, Germany)
Palác Akropolis (Prague, Czech Republic)
Leopold Museum (Vienna, Austria)
Occii (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Klub Fabryka (Krakow, Poland)
The Shrine Club (Chicago, USA)
The Shrine (Harlem, NYC, USA)
Ponyaza (Johannesburg, South Africa)
Dj Zhao (computer) + Marcel (djembes, congas, bells, shakers) + Matchume Zango (marimba, mbira, voice) + El Congo (trumpet) + Werner Puntigam (trombone, conch shell, voice)
A versatile hybrid musical entity consisting of mutable combinations of dj and live instrumentation, NGOMA Soundsystem fuses Ancestral Rhythms, Acoustic Textures, and Urban Bass Pressure. Drawing from both the wealth of sonic traditions from Africa and beyond as well as up-to-the-minute street sounds worldwide, NGOMA Soundsystem exists in the tension between electronic composition and live improvisation, creating unique “Ancient-Futurist” musical experiences at once mind expanding and dance-floor smashing.
Dj Zhao: Born in Beijing and based in Berlin with a background in Sound Art and Avant Techno, Dj Zhao is an amateur ethno-musicologist and professional booty shaker, bringing the best contemporary and classic dance music together from wildly different times and places, focusing on Africa. With Mashup and Re-Edit work directly connecting “East” and “West”, acoustic and electronic, traditional and hyper-modern, Dj Zhao creates hybrid genres such as Gamelan-Step, Sufi-Bass, Acid-Zouk, and Ju-Ju-Electro, forming the building blocks of NGOMA Soundsystem.
Marcel: Diligently studying the art of percussion in many African and Afro-diasporic traditions such as Brazillian, Latin, and Middle Eastern since an early age, Germany born Marcel has over the years combined various bodies of knowledge into a dexterous and multi-faceted live drumming style rich with invention and nuance. Guided by a passion for and knowledge of both Afro-Caribbean and Electronic music history, Marcel is the resident percussionist of NGOMA Soundsystem.
Matchume Zango: Born in Mozambique and raised on the songs and rhythms of his land, Matchume plays and studies intruments like timbila, xitende, mtxiga, xogovila and others. Founding traditional Mozambican music group “Novos Raios” and the orchestra of traditional and urban music “Timbila Muzimba”, and with other projects like electronic band “MoSomeBigNoise”,,, Matchume has not only toured extensively in Africa, Europa and Asia, but has also taught Percussion and Dance in many universities.
El Congo: Born in Cuba, he begin to play trumpet at age 9, going on to study in many prestigious schools such as Music University of Havana and Juliard. After moving to Europe, Congo has been touring regularly with many projects, sharing the stage and performing with Artist like Tony Allen, Eath Wind and Fire, Lauren Hill, Zap Mama, Dave Brubeck, los Van Van, Jimi Tenor, Morgan Heritage, Sly & Robbie, Sean Paul, Buju Banton, etc. El Congo’s style is rooted in but not restricted to Afro-Latin Jazz traditions.
Werner Puntigam: An improvising and composing musician called “the alchemist of sound” in a press review, Werner has founded several ground breaking groups and performs live from solo up to orchestra size. Also conceiving and producing various multimedia projects and interdisciplinary performance series, Werner cooperates with poetry, theater, dance, film and video with artists such as Stewart Sukuma, Joey Baron, Tom Cora, Joe Bowie and Hank Roberts, winning the 1999 Upper Austrian Culture Award for Music. Werner is a trans-national sound artist bridging the musical gap between Europe and Africa.
YOURE DOING THE RIGHT THING.
THANKS FOR THE SOUNDS.
LOVE FROM MEXICO.
GREAT WORK! REGARDS FROM iBIZA
Beautiful. Thank you
Berlin / London
Zhao, you are so inspiring. I’m floored by your scholarship, sound-culturation and your amazing mixes and mash-ups. You need to pass through New York (Cielo would welcome you) or Lagos (I’ll figure a place for you to display your wares when you’re ready), the two places i’m based. More blessings and donations. Cheers. Ayo