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The most interesting musicians are those who remain constant and true to themselves come what may. An essential part of the daily ritual, music defines their very existence offering both spiritual and emotional release. Nevertheless, it’s not always easy to follow your instincts especially when they fall outside the current mainstream sound but as Bryan Zentz proves, if your hand stays steady and your aim is pure the spotlight will return to you again.
Bryan’s current EP on Plus 8 finds him rolling out on a Richie Hawtin label a full 15 years after the pairs’ first collaboration. In a sense, it brings his career full circle, it was Hawtin who originally gave Bryan the motivation and belief to keep going while he was still looking for his first deal and indeed, it all came good in 1994 with a debut release on the legendary Definitive label. Recording as Barada, classics such as Mathematics and Glue backed up by the full length album Strategies for a Deeper Design, while other early releases on labels like EXperimental, Bush and Clashbackk really caught the imagination of the global techno community resulting in remixes for Woody McBride, Christian Smith, Ken Ishii and Tim Xavier (to name a few) and a DJ schedule that’s taken him across the USA, France, Belgium, Australia and Japan.
In 2004, Bryan went a step further setting up his own Disruptor label as a way of fusing his love of techno and dub. More than anything it allowed him to fulfil his musical vision while offering the chance to oversee the entire production process from label artwork and packaging all the way through to promotion and release. A string of critically acclaimed releases on Disruptor have since been complimented by outings as Stare 5 (CYMK) and again as Barada (Morris Audio) introducing his unmistakeable sound to a whole new audience and with the Midnight Teeth EP hitting such a rich vein of form, his current renaissance shows no signs of slowing.
It’s clearly been a far-reaching musical journey that’s led Bryan to his present position, one that explains his mastery of so many styles - from techno, house, and electro to ambient, dub and industrial. Originally cutting his teeth on the hardcore punk scene, the skater connection introduced him to hip-hop, which acted as a converging point for several 80s subcultures blurring the boundaries between genres and setting a brave new course for a whole generation of artists. More importantly, the advent of the drum machine - the weapon of choice for such diverse acts as The Human League and Mantronix opened a gateway to electronic music, while bands like Cabaret Voltaire and Skinny Puppy ensured the original punk attitude mutated and survived, eventually passing on its subversive nature to techno. It was a unique period, possibly never to be repeated as Bryan grew up under the contrasting influences of acts like Devo, Kraftwerk, Inner City, LFO, Eric B & Rakim, Trouble Funk, Basic Channel, Robert Hood, and Jeff Mills all of which have played significant roles in forming his musical outlook.
Back in 88, it originally spurred him on to start making hip-hop with an Alesis HR16B drum machine and Akai Sampler. Fast forward 20 years and the production process has of course become far more complex and Bryan Zentz has evolved into an architect of highly complex sound structures, skilfully blending tonal percussion, melodic rhythms and indefatigable bass lines with that trademark shuffle of his. The music has changed dramatically but the seed of inspiration, the controlled aggression and raw energy remain as apparent now as always.
Releases On Sienna Obscure
|Listen||Buy||Trackname // /||Artists / Remixers||SORD005||Download||
4700 (Bryan Zentz Remix)
128 bpm, A#maj, 2014-04-21, Techno
|Jeaven , Bunker44 , Bryan Zentz||SORD005||Download||
4700 (Bryan Zentz Re-Edit)
128 bpm, A#min, 2014-04-21, Techno
|Jeaven , Bunker44 , Bryan Zentz|