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.


Moby is back with a new album


Right when the music world thought that Moby would never make a comeback, “Innocents” was released on Sept. 30.

This is a complete and thorough piece of work, unlike many of the albums I’ve listened to lately. The production quality is immaculate. For the first time in his 20-year career, Moby allowed another producer, Mark “Spike” Stent, to work with him. Stent is known for working with Coldplay, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, a highly drastic change than what Moby is celebrated for.

Somehow, the two make it work. “Innocents” captures the typical Moby sound and style that everyone is accustomed to, but it is different in so many ways. For starters, the extensive amount of collaborations creates a different aura for the album. The soothing, soulful and emotional voices of Inyang Bassey and Cold Sparks, among others, work perfectly with Moby’s elegant chords and symphonies.

His move from New York City to Los Angeles seems to have had an impact on his creativity. The album is a return back to form for the musician, as repetition plays a major key in the cohesiveness for not only the album, but for most of the songs individually as well.

The use of pianos and violins, the harmonics and the melancholy ambiance are reminiscent of previous Moby albums. As listeners, we know what to expect from Moby and don’t anticipate any surprises. However, he is able to hypnotize you and draw you further into the album. In my opinion, this is what he does best, and it is most exquisitely displayed with this most recent album, especially with the closing 10-minute song.

After being in the music business for over two decades, Moby is proof that experience pays off. He has a following and will always be considered a major player in the music industry, but most people have written him off lately due to the disappointment of his last two albums. Not any more. With “Innocents,” Moby creates a sound that is just as respectable as any of his past hits.

While it is still not one of my favorite Moby albums, I am able to view him in a new light because of this newfound experimentation with his past methods. Moby’s music is talented and touching. “Innocents” is no exception.

MGMT surprises audiences again with release of third album


When you hear the band name MGMT, most people will automatically think about their hit song, “Kids.” However, with their self-titled third LP, MGMT has created a sound that is not quite what you’d expect to hear.

Released on Sept. 17, the new album flew under the radar for many fans as MGMT continues to push the envelope and make music that doesn’t associate themselves with the iconic sound of “Kids” and their first album.

The new album perfectly captures a psychedelic rock feel, one reminiscent of the 1960s with a modern twist. While some songs flow together immaculately, others seem like they come out of nowhere. The weirdness of the album becomes accepted, especially if you understand how quirky Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser can really be.

After the “Time to Pretend” EP and a tour opening for of Montreal in 2006, VanWyngarden and Goldwasser gained what they consider accidental fame and signed a deal with Columbia Records. It was an unexpected offer that wasn’t that easy to just say, “Yes,” to. The life-changing decision brought their first album, “Oracular Spectacular,” and catapulted the group to gain international recognition.

“Congratulations,” their second album, brought a completely different sound, one that turned some of their fans away. While figuring out how to deal with such a rapid ascent to stardom, it reinforced the idea that MGMT wasn’t afraid to push boundaries. “Oracular Spectacular” was a winning formula with mainstream audiences, yet with “Congratulations,” the duo decided to explore new musical territory.

While this exploration gained new fans, including some famous ones, non-musician fans were not pleased. According to a Pitchfork article [] and interview, “Congratulations” sold 75 percent less than its predecessor upon its release date. Because of this, many assumed that Columbia would be more restrictive with their next LP.

However, that turned out to not be the case. “MGMT” is a well-thought out album that shows the creativity and compatibility of the duo. It experiments with numerous genres including rock, pop and indie. The lyrics are dark, and at some points, I wonder how sad someone really had to be to write them to convey such deep emotion.

Many of the MGMT’s younger fans will criticize the album for not having their old sound and feel, but MGMT from the beginning has been about new and different music. This album shows the progression of maturity that the group has gone through. They went from being two college buddies messing around to internationally known and talented musicians on a major record label, testing the waters with something unexpected. While it may be a different sound, it is a good one worth giving a listen to.

The AP remembers a Buddhist monk’s fiery suicide


Fifty years ago today, Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc committed ritual suicide by setting himself on fire to protest the Diem regime. Associated Press correspondent Malcolm Browne and two other news outlets in Saigon were notified of the memorial service, but Browne was the only one that brought a camera that day. He is credited with taking the horrifying picture of Thich Quang Duc’s suicide that resonates in your mind as soon as you see it.

In remembrance, the AP has put together a very interesting package that outlines Browne’s day on June 11, 1963, and the history behind the event. The piece is very informative, however, I found some misleading information.

While exploring the historical context section, it says that on June 1,1963, two monks notified Browne of the suicides. When you continue to the timeline portion, it says on that on June 10 a monk called Browne and said, “Mr. Browne, I strongly advise you to come. I expect something very important will happen, but I cannot tell you what.” This is confusing because the article mentions that Browne already knew about the suicides, but then goes on to try to create suspense with this quote. Did Browne already know what would happen or was he just lucky to remember the camera?

They show a picture of Browne interviewing the leading spokesman for the Xa Loi Buddhist pagoda, but there is no link to the interview. I was really interested in reading what was said, and surprisingly, it is harder to find than expected.

Besides some minor details, I enjoyed learning more about this defining moment in history. For example, Thich Quang Duc used aviation fuel instead of gasoline because it burns slower, making the image much more gruesome. Because the piece was an interactive multimedia package, the timeline allowed you to go through the events of the day. According to Browne’s notes, it took the monk 13 minutes to collapse to his death.

The image that we think of when we think of this event is one that is now dubbed, “The Ultimate Protest.” However, it was not the original image that was published on the front page. “The Ultimate Protest” was one of the photos that arrived in New York the following days after the suicide.

“In a pre-digital world, it took a remarkable 15 hours over 9,000 miles of AP WirePhoto cable for Malcolm Browne’s Burning Monk to become breaking news,” the article mentioned.

In today’s world, we want immediacy. We can get our news 24 hours a day if we wanted to. In the 1960s, you had to wait until you got the paper the next morning to find out about what happened the previous day. In a short 50 years, our process of consuming news has completely changed.

Jay-Z to score “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack


Jay-Z is known for many things, but arranging the soundtracks for movies is not one of them. That is until now.

Jay-Z, has teamed up with filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, who directed “Romeo + Juliet” and “Moulin Rouge!,” to score his upcoming adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”

With his well-known love for the city and lavish lifestyle, Jay-Z seems to be the right man to create the sound for the movie that is set in 1920s New York City. He is one of the people that have come to define American music and plans on bringing a modern twist to the soundtrack by merging older jazz-age music with contemporary hip-hop.

“As soon as I spoke with Baz and Leonardo, I knew this was the right project,” Jay-Z said in a press release from Reuters. “’The Great Gatsby’ is that classic American story of one’s introduction to extravagance, decadence and illusion. It’s ripe for experimentation and ready to be interpreted with a modern twist. The imagination Baz brought to ‘Moulin Rouge!’ made it a masterpiece, and ‘Romeo + Juliet’s’ score wasn’t just in the background; the music became a character.”

This project has been in the making for two years and Jay-Z has been collaborating with composer Craig Armstrong, who worked with Luhrmann on “Moulin Rouge!” and “Romeo + Juliet,” and music supervisor Anon Monsted.

This isn’t Jay-Z’s first stint with Hollywood. He has an extensive IMDB page, working on everything from soundtracks to acting and producing. A 2012 trailer for the new movie features his and Kanye West’s song “No Church In The Wild” suggesting that there will be more big names on the soundtrack.

“The Great Gatsby,” in theatres on May 10, stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan and Tobey Maguire as the narrator Nick Carraway.

David Bowie tops the charts with the fastest-selling album of 2013


Apparently, 2013 is the year of comebacks in the music industry. Justin Timberlake, Jimi Hendrix and now David Bowie have made big news with the releases of new albums.

Bowie’s first album in nearly a decade, “The Next Day,” streamed on iTunes on March 8 and was released on March 12. It has quickly risen to the top of the charts, but has seen great success in Britain. Going straight to No. 1 upon release, it has sold 94,000 copies and is the fastest-selling album of 2013, the Official Charts Company said.

The album outsold the second highest new release, Bon Jovi’s “What About Now,” by an almost 2-1 ratio in the first week.

The 66-year-old has shied away from the spotlight after his last performance in 2006 and a heart attack in 2004. He surprised fans by premiering the first two singles from the album, “Where Are We Now?” and “The Stars (Are Out Tonight),” before it was released.

Critics have praised the 14-song album from almost every aspect, saying that he confronts an array of subjects and brings a new sound while still retaining that classic Bowie feel. It is full of emotion and nostalgic references to his iconic past.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London will be showcasing an exhibit called “David Bowie Is” and it is the “first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie,” their website says.

It features a wide range of clothing, live footage and other memorabilia that explains the extreme influence Bowie has had in different aspects of everyday life. This exhibit has been the fastest-selling event at the museum and will run from March 23 until Aug. 11.

Whether you like David Bowie or not, he has had a huge impact on not only other music, but fashion, art, design and more, in the past and in the present.

The ulimate ULTRA Music Festival survival guide


Festival season is finally here and Florida starts it off with ULTRA Music Festival and Miami Music Week. Miami will be bombarded with famous electronic musicians and people from all over the world.

If this is your first time to the event, there are some things you should know. While everyone knows the basics, like drinking water and taking a break when needed, I’ve assembled some guidelines that will make your ULTRA weekend run smoothly.

1) Get to the festival EARLY

Hate lines? Don’t we all? Music festivals are notorious for its long lines and one thing is for sure with ULTRA: the earlier you get there, the shorter the line you’ll wait in. While you might want to save your energy for later, showing up early has its benefits. Last year, Digitalism went on at 4 p.m., as soon as the festival began, and that set ended up being in my top five for the weekend. The metro gets slammed later in the day, leaving you to deal with chaos. If you plan accordingly, you’ll arrive early enough to not have to deal with flooded metro stations or extraneous lines. Take note: Traffic is always horrible in Miami, but this weekend, it’s even worse. If you plan on driving anywhere in downtown or on the beach during these two weekends, plan for traffic.

2) Grab a schedule and guard it with your life

This should be one of the first things you do as you walk into the festival. Having one is convenient and it will make your life a lot easier, especially if you’re interested in bouncing around to different stages. By Sunday, if you’re lucky enough to still have one, your schedule may be ripped and ragged, but, if you make sure to keep your schedule safe, you might end up as the VIP of your group — the only one who knows what musician is going on when and where.

3) Explore the festival

Festivals are the perfect place to discover new music. There is so much going on all of the time that it’s hard to decide what to do at some points. I’ve found that the best way to deal with this is to jump around to see different crowds and different music. This is hard to do with a group, and sometimes is exhausting, but sometimes worth it. You may just find yourself in love with a new musician or just met your new best friend because you decided to not stick in one area. You should check out all of the different arenas, but make sure to stop by the Carl Cox & Friends Arena and the A State Of Trance Arena. For any first-timer at ULTRA, these are trademark tents and you’ll be disappointed if you don’t at least check them out.

4) Have a meeting spot

There’s no reception, calls and texts aren’t going through, and your group is nowhere in sight. Don’t panic! It’s inevitable that you will probably get separated from your friends at some point and freaking out will only make it worse. At the beginning of the festival, assign a meeting spot in general areas, and if you get lost, go to that spot. Your friends will realize that you’re missing and do the same. You’re there to have a good time, so make the best out of any situation you find yourself in.

5) Save enough energy for the after parties, they’re worth it

No matter where you end up after ULTRA, the after parties that go well into the night are where you want to be. ULTRA has a sort of ripple effect. While the lineup is full of top-of-the-line musicians, the event draws both big and small artists from around the world that are not playing at the festival. For those not going to UMF, these parties are your chance to see international music without having to pay the ticket price of Ultra.

Here are a few parties outside of ULTRA that I highly recommend:

Weekend 1

1. March 15: Turbo Hippie Dance Miami @ The Electric Pickle featuring Tiga, Pachanga Boys, Daniel Maloso and Thomas Von Party ($20 plus fees, 21+)

2. March 15: Big Gigantic, GRiZ and Herobust @ Grand Central ($25 plus fees, 18+)

3. March 17: Recs Showcase @ Bardot featuring Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, xxyyxx, Lazaro Casanova, Pirate Stereo and Will Buck ($27 plus fees, 21+)

Weekend 2

1. March 22: HARD Miami Pool Party @ The Raleigh Hotel featuring Felix Da Housecat, Baauer, Skreamizm, Clockwork, Just Blaze, Alex Metric, Destructo, Surkin, Oliver, Para One, Kill Frenzy, Jesse Rose, Light Year, Gina Turner and Samo Soundboy ($30 plus fees, 21+)

2. March 23: Miami Noize @ Club Therapy featuring Zeds Dead, Para One, Le1f, Djedjotronic vs Strip Steve, Destructo, Franki Chan and special guests ($20 plus fees, 18+)

3. March 24: Robbie Rivera with Special Guests @ Cameo featuring Lucky Date, Tocadisco, Tony Arazadon, David Solano and Frankcaro ($30 plus fees, 21+)