13 Songs, 46 Minutes

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About The Maghreban

Ayman Rostom has been making abstract hip-hop as Dr. Zygote since the late '90s, but he ventured into house music as the Maghreban during the mid-2010s. Like his hip-hop productions, his house tracks play with the conventions of the genre, favoring wobbly drums and spacy noises, as well as a rough, lo-fi aesthetic, often employing Casio keyboards. His music also reflects the influence of his Northern African heritage, and additionally incorporates genres such as jazz and disco.

Rostom was born in Guildford, England and first got into music via the early-'90s rave scene. In 1995, he produced two drum'n'bass 12"s under his first name, both released by Juice Records. He then switched to hip-hop, and his debut LP as Dr. Zygote, Boot Breaks, appeared on Boot Records in 1999. Soon after, he co-founded the hip-hop crew Diversion Tactics, who debuted with the 2001 EP School Report before releasing their first full-length, Pubs, Drunks and Hip-Hop, in 2002. Rostom continued releasing records with the group throughout the decade, as well as sporadic solo releases such as the 2006 vocal LP Beats to Make You Frown (credit to just Zygote), which featured some of his bandmates as well as guests like Tim Dog and Lewis Parker. While praised for his creative sample usage, often drawing from old television programs and movies, he switched gears with the 2013 LP Grupo Zygote, a library music homage that was completely devoid of samples. He also received acclaim for his work as part of Strange U, a sci-fi hip-hop duo with MC Obiesie Adibuah that recalled Dr. Octagon and Cannibal Ox.

Rostom had previously dismissed house music as being soulless and lacking funk. However, once his friend Ben Williams (Gatto Fritto) introduced him to artists like Legowelt and I:Cube, and he began to enjoy dancing in clubs, he started making dance tracks, dubbing himself the Maghreban after a term for a person of Northwest African descent. He began releasing records in quick succession starting in 2014, with several releases on his own Zoot Records as well as French label Versatile Records (home to I:Cube and Pépé Bradock, among others). The Maghreban appeared on Black Acre in 2016 with a pair of singles, "Brooklyn" and "Lose It." Following the late-2017 single "Pots & Pans," the Maghreban moved to Belgian label R&S in 2018, first surfacing with a remix of Acid Mondays' "Universal Rhythm." This was followed by the Maghreban's debut full-length, 01DEAS, which included collaborations with Gatto Fritto, California-based rapper A-F-R-O, and Zimbabwean singer Rutendo Machiridza. ~ Paul Simpson

HOMETOWN
Guildford, England
GENRE
House
BORN
16 February 1978

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