ZHU releases Daft Punk-inspired album 'DREAMLAND'

“There were long periods of time when I was driving alone, and it was as if I had a huge landscape of the United States in the palm of my hand, through which I had never driven before ...”

Review of the album "DREAMLAND" by ZHU: background, tracks, style

DREAMLAND is the third studio album by Steven Zhu (best known as ZHU). It was announced at Red Rocks in 2020, and finally, after more than a year of waiting, "DREAMLAND" saw the light of day ... But was it worth the wait? Absolutely. The multifaceted artist consistently impresses electronics lovers with his signature sound and a force to be reckoned with!

"DREAMLAND" is 12 tracks, tons of sonic flavor with deep and powerful basslines, shimmery and slippery synths, smoky and emotional vocals, and dark soundscapes... "I really wanted the emotions and music to be liberating enough," commented himself Zhu. Actually, he managed to realize his plans: "DREAMLAND" demonstrates the characteristic sexy and provocative sound of the producer, demonstrating collaborations with famous artists. Let's take a closer look at the album!

sources of inspiration

Musician and electronic music producer Zhu!
Musician and electronic music producer Zhu!

Today, many artists appear out of nowhere, make a splash, catch a quick flash of synthesized "fame" and fall into the shadows again ... But one of them has steadily continued to improve with each new release, creating massive club tracks, juicy electronic ballads ... And this is ZHU! Steven Zhu excels at keeping his fans on their toes before every release. From 2016's GENERATIONWHY to 2018's massive hit 'Ringo's Desert', he has developed a unique ability to influence dance music in a way that a small percentage of other artists have been able to... And now, in 2021, ZHU is back in the spotlight with the release of a full-length album DREAMLAND. This time, he is taking his fans deep into the life of the lockdown... When asked how the album came about, ZHU replied:

“The idea of DREAMLAND is to look ahead and create a version of the future in which we want to exist…”


Well: if the future includes the amazing beats he showcased on this album, then it's definitely bright... the most unusual points:

“There were long periods of time when I was driving alone, and it was as if I had a huge landscape of the United States in the palm of my hand, through which I had never driven before ...”

The cover of "DREAMLAND" once again underlines ZHU's commitment to club music: under the rough heel, we can see a helmet that instantly reminds us of Daft Punk. In addition, Zhu summed up 2020 in a black and white video covering topics from the pandemic to anti-Asian racism, the effects of government distrust, the rise of digital communications and climate change…



The album starts on a high note with "Lost It", a brilliantly hard and uncompromising intro with a crushing rhythm and atmospheric guitar chords... It's followed by "Distant Lights", which builds on reckless, ecstatic rejection. The following tracks are based on the same idea - both in the primal spirit of the instrumental compositions and in the desperate pursuit of vocals coming from ZHU and his collaborators. 'Blue Dream' is a standard house track, 'How Does It Feel' is light and fresh with a couple of soulful guitar chords... 'Sweet Like Honey' contains beautiful piano motifs. It's a soft walk in which Zhu describes why he and the mysterious girl can't be together... "Yours" is the London-based pop trio Arctic Lake: the track starts slowly before a female voice begins to float over a synthesized beat. Like the previous track, "Yours" describes temporary love... The song ends with a screech of guitar and a heavy industrial sound.

Stephen Zhu
Stephen Zhu

Halfway through the album, the mood changes abruptly with the modulated piano ballad "SOCO" which eventually picks up the dance beat! In this story, a girl who grew up without a father gets caught in a web of lies that an elderly man weaves... The track ends with an electrical noise that sounds almost like crying. This is a brief reflection on the dangers of addiction... DREAMLAND ends with the most disorienting, interesting and dreamlike song, "I Need That". The atmosphere is very uncertain and perhaps menacing, as if scary clowns might be lurking around the corner. Shimmering piano notes and electronic keys add contrast. The beat is like walking on wet pavement. There are a few vaguely menacing, crunchy industrial keyboard notes. It all ends with a lone saxophone apparently playing under a dimly lit street lamp during a pouring rain...

"Lost It"

"Distant Lights"

"Blue Dream"

"How Does It Feel"

"Sky Is Crying"

"Sweet Like Honey"






"I Need That"


In previous years, a talented DJ, producer, musician, as well as a songwriter and performer presented fans with masterpiece albums ... As for hits, the most popular ones today are "Faded" and "Working For It". All in all, ZHU's latest creations are a real breath of fresh air from a multi-faceted manufacturer! As a multi-instrumentalist who boasts a brilliant career to date, he attributes his success to finding out-of-the-box solutions to problems, as well as the fact that he is surrounded by a support team.


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