The Story Behind the Gold: w/ XUXA Santamaria

Conquistador - XUXA Santamaria
[click to listen]

Armed with their latin-retro futuristic grooves and a cut throat will to define a new paradigm through art, Sofia & Matt unleashed this song early on from a cage of electronics & programming. Like a Godfrey Reggio time lapse, what were likely weeks of toil on a pair of headphones in an apartment came into existence upon our seemingly grandiose studio in a matter of moments. Beats were flying, synths were triggering and Sofìa erupted onto the track with as much poise but as little effort. It was as if an ancient record had been cued up in their souls and we captured the playback. The verses are short so the chorus, the true narrative, may be drilled in:

“They arrived in January, they arrived in January.
And their coins are crystal
They arrived in January, they arrived in January
And their coins are crystal.”

She speaks of the conquerors, the ones that come and go, era after era, attempting to wrought the same change of ill-effect on their fellow humans, offering false narrative and false hope in the process. This song is a reminder that moments such as these are not coincidence, they are of design. So let us be the greater architects & builder. In the wake of conquerors, let's use this as an opportunity to make stronger what they believe is weak. Nothing can be taken which you don’t allow to be.

Let’s start with music.

Sending positive energy to all of your trajectories,
Zoo Labs


Zoo Labs Digest: The Story Behind the Gold [w/ The Sagas]

Land on Gold - The Sagas

When The Sagas originally showed up to Zoo Labs, they were a completely different band. Different name, different music, different intentions. The deeper they got into the process here, the more in tune they became with how they saw themselves on the other side. Bewildered and on the brink of disenchantment, Land On Gold rumbled out of an acoustic writing session at just the right time. Parry’s perfectly planted lyrics conjured catchy chords from Dustin’s hearty strumming, immediately forming this hook. A couple of microphones and three takes later we had a strong core to build the rest of Land On Gold upon.

This song embodies the mentality that even in the darkest of doubt, there is gold to land on. It is a testament to throwing caution to the wind and giving credit to the value that every moment has in our lives. After all, how can you expect to land on what you want without ever aiming for it?

Sending positive energy to all of your trajectories,
Zoo Labs

Zoo Labs talks with Phife

Zoo Labs talks with Phife

In 2012, Zoo Labs sat down with A Tribe Called Quest's Phife to catch up about life and his plans for his upcoming solo album.  The entire Zoo Labs family is deeply saddened by today's news of his passing. 

"I’m not worried about going platinum and all of that, I just want to go on a roll, bombard the stage, do what I’ve got to do come back home, what do you need. I just do the best album I could possibly do. That’s success to me."

I Would


When music speaks loudly, you remember all of the notes; I can remember every time I’ve cried listening to music. Around September of 2014, New York’s experience of soul, love and vibe called Mad Satta spent two weeks living under the Zoo Labs roof. I sealed myself into the studio biosphere with them to make new sounds & stir the creative pot. After a few days in of some hard grooves & sweaty notes, we ended up at a song Joanna [Teters, vocals] had been jamming on with rhythm master of the band Zane [West, drums]. It was called I Would. Initially, it felt like a solid groove played out on an MPC with some lush guitar lines whispering down the hall from Ted [Morcaldi, guitar]. Inspiration was chiming, but still distant. Out of the mélange bubbled Joanna, from hummed melody to crafted syllables - “If I could I would write for only you in mind, speak your truth: your lyrics lift the linen. I would, I could. I would, I could.” The four other guys in the room with me immediately felt the epic melt, swelling from Joanna and filling the room. As we zoomed in for vocal recording, the words became sweeter while at the same time tearing at the strings that held together my composure; it hit the back of my throat like a brick, This song is for someone condemned to a bed with illness, knowing no escape from the suffering. J’s words bled these feelings the speakers and settled them into my core, rather permanently. Although painful, this channel of creation is highly cathartic. This is where making music finds its deepest calling. It’s a language of relation & compassion. Zoo Labs is lucky to be an encampment where artists like Mad Satta feel welcome enough to get down to those dark places and show us where there is light. Wherever we can be a home where artists can express themselves like this and live their greatest ambitions, that is where Zoo Labs wants to be.

[Photo taken during the recording of BREAK ME FREE, available at the link below:]

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