In the bag: Ranyue Zhang

‘In The Bag’ reveals the highlights, secrets, stories and oddities of DJ’s record collections, featuring established selectors alongside respected figures from the Leeds underground.


At the centre of the Brudenell Groove crew (who have been putting on successful charity parties at Wire and HiFi for nearly a year now, raising thousands of pounds for local organisations), is a mad little selector who is the unlikeliest of party starters. Though it is clear that there are loads of great musicians and DJs from Asia, the stereotype of students from Eastern countries remains: they just aren’t that into partying. The subject of this ‘In The Bag’ is doing everything she can to subvert this idea, and prove that it may be the fault of this host country that excludes foreign visitors from our club culture, not to mention women from abroad.  She can regularly been seen prancing around Cosmic Slop in a dressing gown, and unleashing minimal techno hell as much as she does banging disco when she plays out. It is this kind of fearlessness that makes her such an important character in the local club scene. Leading by example, she serves to break down the de facto apartheid that functions in a lot of university towns along the lines of our nightlife preferences. Unwilling to succumb to this socially conditioned disadvantage in white-male dominated DJ culture, she has become one of Leeds’ most revered diggers, and it shows in the words that follow: one of the most considered ‘In The Bag’ features we’ve ever received.

Though she is not playing Brudenell Groove’s Blue Planet on 6th May at HiFi, you will be able to see her picking out tunes for House for the Homeless on 29th April at Studio 24 and DÅRE on 13th May at Open Source Arts. But first, let’s take a look in her bag…


Name(s): Ranyue Zhang

DJ name: Ranyue

Hometown: Yulin, China


First record ever bought?

I heard it about a year and half ago, don’t remember where from but the piano just hit me so hard, feels like it strikes on every nerve in my brain. I didn’t even have any record players at that point but I knew I need to get it. Another two tracks are Deep Inside Of You and What’s Your Word. Her voice is gentle and soft like a feather, but also tickles your heart.


Best floorfiller?

Estiban – Come to me (Nik Weston Re-edit). This edit was released a year ago under the label Mukatsuku. It’s difficult to not dance to a disco like this with uplifting brass at the beginning. I played it at midnight on NYE this year, it was the best and happiest moment I experienced.


Best crate dig?

Donna Summer – Four Seasons of Love. I bought this album in a records shop in Beijing for probably £8, very good condition with the original calendar. The idea behind this album is lovely. It starts from Spring Affair to Summer Fever to Autumn changes to Winter melody then finishes on Spring reprise. The emotion in each song/season is distinctive but also well connected. I just can’t believe I found it from a crate in a corner.


Sleaziest record?


Manmade Science – Chitown. It’s under the label Philpot Germany, they released some great records. Manmade Science is a musical group formed by Nik Reiff and Jackmate. Jackmate is also the co-founder of this label. It’s not on YouTube so only a Juno link. The B side House Keeping is pretty sleazy:


Best warehouse/stadium filler?

Hmmm haven’t played any warehouse, but I will definitely play this one if I’m playing warehouse. This record is NDATL’s 2016 special edition, Kai Alcé’ is the owner of this label. Sounds better when it’s pitched up, evil bassline with dreamy vocal. Phroahhhhhhh!! Great combo


Most nostalgic record?

Portishead – Dummy. My all time favorite record. I only played once at home after I just bought it and probably won’t play it out. But I just want to own a copy. Might play it out one day when it’s the right moment.


Most valuable record? (monetary or sentimental)

Nohelani Cypriano – Nohelani. This was my second order on Discogs when I was young and believed I will only buy a few my favorite records in my whole life. So I spent quite a lot money on this original album and had it shipped from Japan. A month later it was reissued and I was heartbroken and financially broke. But I still love this album, especially Lihue.


Weirdest record?

I have quite a few weird records and can’t decide which one is the weirdest. So I’ve picked this one as it has a YouTube link. Got it in China last summer, that records shop is just full of these weird records.


Last record you bought?

Still waiting for it to come. Uku Kuut is the son of Maryn E. Coote, they’re both great producers and singers. Uku has been living with ALS for several years, the label People Potential Unlimited released a record ‘Maskeraad’ recently to support Uku and ALS research.


Record you wish you could own?

One of the most beautiful reocrds. Mbira and the vocal in this record matched so well, it’s calming but also powerful. Sadly it only has 350 copies and super expensive on Discogs.