“The Ndebele EP” (pronounced in-de-bele) is the brand-new EP from broken beat revivalist, producer & DJ – WheelUP aka West London’s Danny Wheeler. Conceptually formed around his father’s tribe in Zimbabwe, “The Ndebele EP” see’s Danny sonically push the boundaries of broken beat, with four dancefloor tracks that effortlessly fuse in elements of nu-jazz, leftfield house/techno and echoes of disco-cuts.
EMBED SOUNDCLOUD HERE: LISTEN
Following on the success of his debut EP “Bulawayo” on CoOperation Records, and singles “Self Healing Machine” and “Vitruvian Man” on Tru Thoughts, Danny has cemented the WheelUP name as part of the new school of bruk – garnering approval from respected radio and club DJs such as Gilles Peterson, Toddla T & Jamz Supernova.
Thumping EP opener “Ndebele” see’s Danny pay homage to his heritage: “Ndebele people were the tribe of my father, originally from Zimbabwe, and part of the Zulu’s. He explained to me, as I am the oldest son, I have a spiritual role to my extended family in the tribe.” The cosmic-spacious ambience of “Life On Mars” is a tribute to Danny’s friends in China who were starting to slowly re-open their clubs in April 2020 during the initial lifting of sanctions during COVID-19 pandemic (at the time of writing). While the syncopated rhythms in “People” is one for the bruk heads “it’s more of a nod to the classic bruk from Plastic People times”, Danny explains. The EP closes with “Girl” a relentlessly hypnotic-hook, embodying dark-dancefloor vibes for the end of the night.
Growing up inside the epicentre of BRUK, Danny has been studio neighbours with some of the key players in the game including IG Culture, Bugz in the Attic, Henry Wu and Goya Music (the leading vinyl distributor of bruk music). Originating from the drum and bass world, Danny turned his hand to the burgeoning sound of West London’s resurgent scene, Danny Wheeler was knighted the name ‘WheelUP’ by non-other than Afronaut, the founder of ‘Bugz in the Attic’ and a pioneer of the broken beat genre.
Taking WheelUP to the next level, Danny (leading on keys) debuted his live set up including Tugg (drummer for Basement Jaxx/Gorgon City), Tom Mason (bass for Robert Mitchell/Panacea), Bembe Segue (vocals for 4Hero/Bugz in the Attic), and fellow label mate Tiawa on lead-vocals, at Brixton’s Hootenanny. Situated between the live electronic club world and jazz-funk gig scene, WheelUP’s live band is ever-evolving, breaking out of tired performance formulas, with a scope of appeal to ravers and gig lovers alike.
What’s the industry saying?
“A modern take on broken beat. The inspiration and the influence continues” – Gilles Peterson
“The epitome of West London’s sound” – Toddla T (BBC Radio 1)
“Best thing to come out of the broken beat scene right now. Geezer eats beats for breakfast”
– Afronaut (Bugz in the Attic) …Prasie for WheelUP