Review: Ilian Tape’s Zenker Brothers Blend Their Roots With Modern Experimentation In ‘Mad System’

Zenker Brothers | Mad System | Ilian Tape

Release Date: 28 April, 2020

Experimentation is always welcomed within any genre of music, and within the bustling electronic realm – especially when a lot of genres have their roots in very distinct elements such as repetitive beats – stepping outside the norm is always welcomed as we embrace the evolution of the genres we all know and love.

By returning to our roots, we are able to take the most distinct and defining aspects of a genre and craft it into something contemporary and new, work that stands out in a heavily saturated industry. German label Ilian Tape are one of those labels that shape new, open spaces for electronic genres such as techno to grow, to change and evolve which is one of the aspects of each of their releases that make them stand out the most.

In this sense, it’s no surprise that Marco and Dario Zenker, who are the artists responsible for Ilian Tape’s conception and label heads – would establish their own incredibly unique sound. In their latest release ‘Mad System’, the two brothers showcase yet another hypnotic release on their ever exciting label.

While each track on ‘Mad System‘ is bold; perceiving the album as its own, fully-realised entity is its own trance-like, intoxicating experience. It’s evident from the get-go that the four tracks, if played sequentially on the dance-floor, are teeming with scintillating adrenaline.

Chi Boost‘s heavily substantial, pulsing beat rattles the shadowy dark techno adoration within our ribcages; a gritty, bewitching cut that stands out as a favourite – the blend of enigmatic, midnight techno pounding with it’s powerful drive along with the textural, rhythmic kicks and rapid palpitation of drum & bass-esque influence showcases an intensity that allow for an intriguing dive into progressive energy.

Bengel Mode‘ showcases a similar approach to progression – as the intensity of the dark-techno-heavy beat from ‘Chi Boost‘ is toned down, the track presents more of a focus on driven, textural rhythmic kicks that inspire the urge to dance with its layers of percussive energy and dynamic weave of timbres. The occasional presence of raw, metallic strikes and the repetition of extraterrestrial synths, along with moments of stop-start tempo definitely add a sense of extra flavour to the track.

The rich aura of nostalgia is vivid and bright, yet the auditory personality of the artists shine through – it’s a feeling of comforting modernity, a contemporary experimentation with electronic textures that are reminiscent of the past – but cleverly focused. However, with cuts such as ‘Chi Boost‘ standing out amongst the others, we were definitely left wanting more.

Stream & Purchase Mad System by Zenker Brothers
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Rating: 6.5 / 10

Feature Image: Zenker Brothers via Facebook (photographer uncredited)

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