Jonny Sender brings the heat to No Zu’s ‘Spirit Beat’
Melbourne based octet NO ZU has recently enlisted JONNY SENDER to lend some of his disco remix talents to their single ‘Spirit Beat’. Taking elements from multiple genres such as disco, punk, afro, electronica and funk, the group has dubbed their unique mish-mash of sounds as “heat beat”. Remixing a track with so many influences may be a bit of a daunting task, but if anyone is up for the job it’d be Jonny Sender.
Now living in France, Sender was a disco DJ and bass player with his funk band Konk back in New York in the 1980’s, when most of the scenes No Zu draw from were coming to prominence. This remix track lends from his experiences within the scenes, where he deftly brings elements of his favoured genres, house and disco, to the track to make it feel like it could have come from his own band’s catalogue.
Using a sprinkling of the original vibe that No Zu is known for, his own additions, like new melodic elements and extra percussion, slot right in place and feel like they could have been there the whole time. This remix feels far larger in scope while building on the already great track, with Sender sharing No Zu’s love for layering multiple percussive sounds to create a syncopated but cohesive beat.
The track builds to a crescendo surprisingly early, highlighting the band’s brass instruments, with the rest of the track showcasing the different elements of the band and the song’s construction. Further along, the track is thinned out somewhat while still maintaining that scope as the bass, synths, and drums are given their own times to shine, with the vocals chanting the whole way through “to infinity”.
Everything comes together for a nearly 7 minute spiritual successor to the original, like an extended cut from an old record that just ebbs on and on. Along with being a downright jam, this ‘konk’d’ remix is Sender’s love letter to the music he’s built his career on.
WORDS BY HOLLY O’NEILL