Zenker Brothers

Cosmic Transmission

Ilian Tape • 2020

In their careers, the Zenker Brothers, in the shape of Dario and Marco, have achieved what most producers can only dream of: The half-brother’s run Ilian Tape, one of the most sought-after labels in electronic dance music. The label provides a home to genre milestones like Skee Mask’s »Compro«, records all over the world when there’ s not a pandemic, and – which is sometimes forgotten – produces and releases quite successfully itself. Their latest effort is called »Cosmic Transmission«, which takes into account the spiritual side of the offspring of a family of artists and was put together in isolation in their home studio in Munich. At first glance, it sounds like a typical lockdown record, which nevertheless stands out in terms of craftsmanship. The opener »When Nothing Is Safe« goes without beats, outlines with depth the uneasy limbo of the worldwide standstill. There is drumming, although it is far less functional and dancefloor-oriented than usual. Most of the other track titles suggest an escape into the spherical, into nature or into spirituality. This sometimes reads as cliché, but works surprisingly compellingly from a narrative point of view. Those who can’t live without Zenkeresque ruptures – the brothers are certainly not entirely innocent of the persistent revival in breakbeat – are most likely to find them in the ominous percussion roller »Divided Society«. Otherwise, a calm pace is the order of the day – it’s the exception that proves the rule. Sharp edges rub against persistent basses in vain; the cosmic aspect of this record is clearly hidden in the subwoofer.