Kill The Zo Breaks Boundaries, Brings Back D’n’B Bass with Debut Tour

Mat Zo and Kill The Noise unite to bring fans a genre-defying and ever-changing set.

If drum ‘n’ bass is making a comeback, it’s exclusively due to Kill The Zo, an exciting collaboration betweenMat Zo and Kill The Noise. The duo brought their new project to Grand Central Miami last Friday as a part of their debut North American tour and surprised the crowd with a genre-defying and ever-changing set.

Because the two DJs have distinctly different sounds and styles, music lovers flocked to the downtown club to satisfy their curiosity of what this interesting combination would sound like. Whether you like jaw-dropping bass or not, there was something for everyone to enjoy well into the wee hours of the morning.

Instead of just performing as Kill The Zo, the two musicians performed separately first and then together as the new collaboration, enticing the crowd to party through the entirety of the night.

The evening started with Wuki, a newcomer to the dance music world. Previously involved withInnerpartysystem, this Denver-based DJ got the crowd moving with remixes of some old-school songs and some unknown tracks. While his song choice seemed random, his technique was focused and driven, and his effort was immense. Even if you don’t like the music a DJ plays, you have to admire when someone gets behind the decks and gives it their all, and that’s exactly what Wuki did.

Kill The Noise played a deafening set that literally shook the walls of Grand Central. Most of this solo set was hardcore dubstep that made the crowd go wild at every intense build up and every hair-raising drop. However, Kill The Noise did surprise with the Skrillex, Kill The Noise and Milo & Otis remix of “NRG” by Duck Sauce and a different remix of “Percolator.” He brought energy to the crowd that was previously missing, and by the time Mat Zo was ready to go on at 2am., people were already slowly leaving the club. No one expected the main act to go on at 3am, but those who stuck around were in for a treat.

Mat Zo played a high-energy set as well, tempting people to stay a little longer. His mixture of hard electro, dubstep, D’n’B, trance and more portrayed true innovation and mastery of performing live. He played some of his classics like “Pyramid Scheme vs. Walter White” and “Only For You” among others from his early stardom days. Combined with a majority of unknown underground tracks, Mat Zo made it almost impossible to leave the dance floor. As his set progressed and his talent captivated you more and more, he drew you further into the club. A crowd favorite was his D’n’B remix to “Get Lucky” that was perfect in almost every way.

The moment that everyone was waiting for came a little later than expected. It was 3 a.m., and the crowd had died down compared to the previous two hours, but those still left were ready to rage just as hard, if not harder.

Kill The Zo consisted mainly of Mat Zo doing most of the work while Kill The Noise drank a beer and smoked a cigarette in the background. When Kill The Noise did take over, it was during the most intense and chaotic times of the set, and he commanded everyone’s attention. They played everything from house to electro, dubstep to D’n’B. This included their debut track “Part 1.”

Both Mat Zo and Kill The Noise are talented as solo artists, but their talents combined superseded any other music played that night. It was interesting to see completely different qualities combine to create something not only new, but distinctive as well. D’n’B took over the end of the set. If any modern group has mastered the art of this genre, it is Kill The Zo. The duo makes you like D’n’B even if you despise it.


Top 5 Tracks: Summer Is Coming Edition


Summer is right around the corner and that means a plethora of new music is coming with it. Musicians have started announcing, releasing and previewing some of the hottest tracks you’ll hear in the next few months in hopes that their song will be the next hit during the summer festival season.

With so much music coming out so quickly, it can be hard to find just what you need to kick off summer properly. Here are my top five tracks from the last week or so that will pump you up for the best season of them all.

Boston Bun makes electronic music his bitch with this big first single off his new EP,We Got Soul/Time Bomb, due out June 16. In a Facebook post, he said this genre-defying track was a homage to Da Mongoloids, a defunct collective that originally started solely as Armand Van Helden and evolved to include Daft Punk, DJ Sneak, Junior Sanchez and many more stately names. The title track is an amazing display of Boston Bun’s unique take on house music. The vocals, the beat, everything about this attention-demanding track goes perfectly together. Boston Bun and Bear Who? definitely got that soul.

When you see John Roman‘s name on anything, you know that it’s going to be good. I was surprised and excited to see him collaborate with the newest addition to Boys Noize Records, BS1, on this Blood Music release. The result is a masterfully produced and developed EP. There’s light, dark and everything in-between. The two original songs on this EP are strong enough to stand alone, but the LeBreton remix is an added bonus. Dumbbell/Barbell is perfect for workouts that will help you get that summer beach body.

Let’s get this straight: I don’t like Katy Perry. At all. However, Le Youth is able to make me like her with this chilled-out remix of “Birthday.” The chopped-up vocals and the dreamy bass line turn this pop hit into a beach-like house song that is not overwhelming, yet distinct enough to know it’s not the original. It can be played in the club or just relaxing by the pool. Perfectly executed, this is definitely a summer tune, like much of what Le Youth is known for, and he nails it again.

It’s more than just a feat to successfully remix this Sam Smith hit, but Soul Clap does so in a way that mesmerizes. They emphasize the beautiful background chorus vocals instead of Smith’s for a majority of the track, which I think was the right thing to do. When Smith sings, he demands the attention of the listener as he takes complete control of the song, making whatever beat seem insignificant. Using the background vocals along with Smith’s smooth and impressive cooing allows Soul Clap to make this a Soul Clap song and not a Sam Smith song. This tribal house, beach vibe is the perfect way to start summer.

Riton is back and better than ever with the upcoming release of his new EP, Bad Girl RiRi, on May 26. Mixmag exclusively premiered the first single, and I definitely want to hear what Riton has in store for us after listening to it. “Aloha Surfers” is a Gesaffelstein-like techno/electro track that is hard-hitting and full of energy. The rumbling bassline and high-pitched beat take me back to old-school Ed Banger tunes. The first drop comes within the first 50 seconds of the song, setting a tense, industrial and chaotic setting for the rest of the song. Fast-paced and intense — just how we like it.

via Bionic Beatlab

Handbraekes Surprise and Tantalize with New EP, #2


Released on May 5th, the EP merges the unique styles of both members of the duo.

Photo from

Appropriately titled #2, the second release from the duo beautifully merges the individual styles of both members while creating a sound that is unique and completely their own. Unlike the first EP, where you could distinguish who influenced each song, #2 completely immerses you in an impeccable union of French and German electro.

“Bravo,” the first and longest of the four songs, represents the classic style that Handbraekes achieves with their sound. While it still is distinguishable from modern electronic music, the track has a traditional house music vibe that at points seems monotonous but prepares you for the rest of the EP.

“Paroat” starts with an industrial beat and a laser that sounds like it came right out of Star Wars. From the beginning of the song, you’re hit with a heavy, in-your-face synth that might turn some people away from listening to the rest of the EP. However, the drawn-out build up that starts mid-song captivates and lures you in to see where they will go with this obscure and Oizo-like sound.

As the next song, “Chyna,” begins, you are led to believe that normalcy will finally take hold. Conversely, a fast-paced and erratic beat takes over the calming sounds that start the song.  The best part of this particular track is the snippets of vocals inserted in just the right places. The fusion of Boys Noize and Mr. Oizo is most evident in this song, as you can hear both of their styles clashing to create an instant dance floor hit.

Differentiating from any other sound presented on the EP, “Grind Go” will likely be the most popular song due to it being the most relatable to anything in electronic music today. The slowed-down disco tune soothes the soul, almost as if they knew how jarring and chaotic the rest of the EP was. The final track is their remedy and smooth transition back into reality.  “Grind Go” is a perfect way to end this musical adventure, even if it does end abruptly.

#2 is a breath of fresh air in an industry that is willing to churn out whatever will make money. Handbraekes is able to establish themselves with a sound different from anything you’ll find anywhere, and different doesn’t necessarily mean bad. Even if you’re not hooked with the first couple of tracks, don’t slam on the brakes for this EP.

Fresh Wet Paint: ODESZA Talks Influences, Personal Achievements & More


By Samantha Doucette

Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight met at Western Washington University where they both were new to experimenting with electronic music. After being introduced by a mutual friend, they realized they had the same taste in music. Thus, ODESZA was formed.

Started as a creative outlet, the duo quickly grabbed the attention of big names in the music business, allowing for their first album to be made within the first year they met. After just four shows, they played a major festival, and since then, they’ve added more festivals under their belt and sold out shows around the country.

I had the chance to talk to Harrison from the group. Read on to find out more about this unique DJ duo.

Sam: What kind of music did you listen to when you were growing up?

Harrison: Lots of stuff. When I was growing up, I wasn’t super into music that much. I liked it, but I wasn’t obsessive like I am now. I listened to a lot of stuff my parents listened to, like movie soundtracks, a lot of soul and funk, disco, stuff like Frank Sinatra, stuff like that. As I grew up, I got more into hip-hop, indie music and classic rock. I like tribal music and lots of stuff. I’m pretty diverse.

I know that both of played instruments when you were in middle school. (Harrison played the trumpet and Clayton played the piano.) You also said that you don’t really remember much of the trumpet today. Do you still know how to play it?

I think I still do. I haven’t picked up one in a couple of years, but I still remember the basics. The biggest issue when you start trumpet is knowing the placement for your lips and how to shoot air through your lips correctly, or else you can’t make the horn sound. I still remember how to do that, and I think I would just have to relearn how to read music.

I didn’t know that about the trumpet. Would you say that this early incorporation with instruments has influenced the type of music that you make today?

Honestly, I feel like when I was playing trumpet, I was strictly by the book. I wasn’t really creative with it whatsoever. I kind of did what I was told to play. I played really boring things; I remember one of our learning things was the snake charmer song. (laughs) I don’t think I learned anything that influenced me in any way. I do remember just enjoying practicing, which I don’t think a lot of kids do.

Does Clayton still play the piano? Do you guys play any other instruments?

Ya, Clayton still plays the piano. I play piano too, but I’m not nearly as classically trained. Clay plays guitar every once in a while, but he is usually pretty piano based. I mainly play piano now too.

Your biography says that ODESZA started as a recording project. Can you explain what that means?

Ya – Recording project? Where was that written? I think they meant production project because that’s how we thought of it. It was us experimenting with different sounds. When we met up, we really didn’t know each other. We literally just clicked with music really well, and we just started jamming together. It was us meeting each other and learning about each other as we’re experimenting with different sounds we like. It was us hanging out and trying different things, things we always thought were interesting, and try to make them work, show each other stuff, maybe get inspired off that and work more together. We did our whole first album like that.

So, it was more of you guys producing music than promoting it to become famous musicians?

Ya, (laughs) in no way whatsoever. It was totally an experiment. I would say it was a huge learning thing for me because both of us did everything differently, but we had the same equipment, so we both learned a lot about how to do things differently, different peoples processes, different techniques and stuff.

I read that Clayton heard Animal Collective when he first started college and fell in love with it, but how did you get into electronic music?

It extends from when I heard the Gorillaz. And then from the Gorillaz, I heard the rapper Del (from Deltron 3030). From that, I listened to a bunch of old school music, and I got into beat production for hip-hop stuff and I really liked sampling. From sampling, I slowly got into different producers. After a while, I started getting eased into the electronic sound and totally fell in love with a bunch of different stuff and electronic music.

What do you think about sampling in electronic music? It’s always been a heated debate in music.

I could really write a term paper on this, but in my opinion, there’s a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. I think the right way is to not have it so obvious as to what the other song was. If you change it up and make it your own, I think that’s your own piece of music. I think if someone else sampled what we did and made it completely different, I would be like, “Awesome! That’s your song now.” I think once you make something that leaves your hands, it’s not yours anymore. There’s only personal gain, and that’s the biggest thing with art in general: No one can really say what art is. Then it gets all stupid and pretentious and deep. There’s a right way to do it in my eyes. Some people will take a song and put different drums under it and say that they made another song. I don’t think that’s always the case. I think you have to do something creative with it, but when it is creative, it’s stupid.

Photo courtesy of Marybeth Coghill

How would you describe you music to someone who has never heard it before or never heard electronic music in general?

For electronic music in general, I don’t know what I would tell them. That would be hard for me since there is so much genre blending nowadays. For us, I would say influences of hip-hop, ambient, electronic music in general and tribal music is a big one. And pop. I would say those things.

Do you enjoy the producing or performing side more?

That’s a good question. I think that when we’re on the road for more than two months at a time, it is hard to enjoy it (performing) as much because you’re pretty drained, but I think I do enjoy the production because it’s a very comfortable zone. I really love going out and playing music to people. When you’re playing something that you haven’t played before and you get a reaction like that, you don’t see that when a single comes out on Soundcloud. You get a lot of likes and people say, “Cool.” It’s a lot more fun to see an immediate (reaction) like that at a show.

Can you explain your production process in the studio? Does one of you have certain responsibilities or do you split the work evenly?

It started very evenly, but as we’ve gotten more and more work, I think we’ve found more of our strengths. In general, what we usually try to do is we meet up and show each other little pieces that we started, like really simple things, and we say, “Do you want to take this somewhere? Does this inspire you to do something?” We jam on it together for a while, and then we kind of pick a direction for the song. Then, we both spend a day away from each other and just work on it. We meet up again to try to combine everything we like about what we just made. We think with each other, and then without each other, and then we try to combine.

You previously said that you like that “punch-in-your-face, hard-hitting sound.” How do you balance that with the smooth, chillwave, ambient style that you’re known for?

I think that you can do both, but it’s a different version of it. It’s not a punch-you-in-the-face energy; it’s a punch-you-in-the-face emotion. It’s something that we both like: something building and it just hits you whether in an emotional way or an energy way.

You guys just got your remix of Pretty Lights’ “Lost and Found” on the “Divergent” movie soundtrack, how was that?

That was absolutely insane. We didn’t even know about it until last minute. Our manager called us and said, “Hey. Just wanted to let you know: One of your songs is going to be on the ‘Divergent’ soundtrack.” We were like, “What the hell?” We were pretty much blown away. It was an awesome opportunity to be on a list of so many talented people on that soundtrack. It was something we were definitely honored by.

That soundtrack has been getting rave reviews. Growing up listening to movie soundtracks, was that a dream of yours?

Ya. Movie soundtracks, to me, are absolutely a huge, fundamental part of the film, and I’m a big film fan too. To be apart of something like that, I have no words. It’s amazing to me. It’s definitely a dream of mine, like a bucket list thing, so it was really cool to be apart of it. And I think that we’re the only non-famous people on there! (laughs) I don’t know how we got on there. We weaseled our way in.

That is a great achievement. What has been the highlight of your musical career thus far?

I would say, for me, my highlight has been that I got to meet some of my heroes and people that I’ve been really influenced by, people I thought I would never even have a casual conversation with. It’s really cool to become friends with the people that influenced you.

What’s next for ODESZA?

We have a bunch of stuff coming. We’re working on a bunch of remixes for some people that we really like that we’re not allowed to tell you who unfortunately. We have a new album that we’re working on that we’re trying to release this year. We’re doing a bunch of our tours and possibly some new beats with some popular groups that we can’t say. A lot more music and a lot more touring, and that’s about it.

Very nice. Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us. We really appreciate it.

No problem. This has been the best interview I’ve done in months.

Follow ODESZA on FacebookTwitter and Soundcloud and download their entire debut album for free here!

Also, if you’re in Florida, check them out in one of these upcoming shows!
2014-5 ODESZA tour