“I’m just pulling onto Rye Lane,” says Bradley Zero, as he drives from his flat in Peckham to his office and studio.
“For me, Rhythm Section is about small venues outside the centre, doing things a little differently, so XOYO is a departure from the core foundational principles of the dance, but it’s not a strict end. That’s why I was careful not to make it a Rhythm Section residency”
When he first arrived, he lived in Peckham and Camden, but felt there was no real community, which is something clearly very dear to him in the way he runs his party and label. Alas, he says he is now starting to feel the losses in Peckham, with friends moving and places shutting down. “It still has its heart,” he says. “It is still the same place, but the change is palpable, and it’s hard to see where it goes next. In maybe 15 years I can’t see there would be a place for Rhythm Section.”
“There was no pressure to book a name to bring people in,” says Bradley on his hands-free phone. “People came whoever was on. We just made a vibe. It could be Pender Street Steppers one week, and me and my housemate Miles another week, but you always got the same crowd.”
“Finding new ways to transcend borders and cultures is what drives the discovery, not just doing the same thing over and over again”
Of course, Bradley is all about new music – on his label, in his DJ sets (most of the time) and on his radio shows on NTS and the In New Music We Trust residency on the BBC. But the XOYO gigs have seen him play differently to normal, while giving a bigger platform to many of the fledgling artists he is so invested in.