Against today’s climate of fake hype, meaningless social media ‘likes’ and equally over-rated ‘stars’, Munich’s Zenker Brothers are a massive breath of fresh air and a rare breed. They’ve no truck with the trappings of fame today. They’re more interested in making and releasing great art, music that will find and resonate with a genuine audience, and it’s an attitude that has seen them thrive through ten years at the helm of their acclaimed Ilian Tape label (and before: older brother Dario was already a seasoned player on the international techno scene when the brothers launched the label, in 2007).
The label often releases without any fanfare. Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that they prefer it that way after so many years, emphasising quality over quantity and staying true to their roots as fans of the hip hop of Nineties New York (as much as the techno coming out of the US, UK and Europe at that time), due to the rawness and purity of its sound.
The Zenkers are massive collectors of analogue hardware (images courtesy of Slices / Electronic Beats).
This 2015 video interview with Electronic Beats / Slices magazine really nails the attitude at the core of the duo’s style (and their enduring success). ‘(There are) DJs on Facebook that have been at it for thirty years and have much better reputations than some hyped Facebook stars and they don’t even manage to get paid half the money that the stars do,’ rails Dario. ‘I think the whole Facebook thing is a little over-rated too. An artist isn’t just good because he has 50,000 likes on Facebook, that’s completely ridiculous.’
‘These days it isn’t even real any more,’ adds Marco, equally unimpressed. ‘There are numerous DJs that buy their likes and then profit from that,’ clarifies Dario. ‘Promoters that book acts on the basis of Facebook likes. Those are not parties that i’m interested in playing. It’s not about the music in those cases. It’s about making sure the club is packed and that’s not really very important to me.’ Quite.
Label aficionado Skee Mask lends his support, having been forced to cancel his date here last year, due to illness. With more abstract leanings, less focused on the dance floor, his music will act as the perfect counterpoint to the Zenker’s more ‘floor-conscious style. Both acts make this their Edinburgh debut but it’s also Skee Mask’s Scottish debut.
To say they’re a good fit for Substance at the Bongo would be understating things slightly. In short, we can’t wait!
Categories: Blog, News
Tags: Electronic Beats, Ilian Tape, Munich, Skee Mask, techno, Zenker Brothers