Zeno Van Den Broek | Breach
Moving Furniture Records (LP/CD/DL)
The resonance of Zeno Van Den Broek’s work has grown exponentially in the past few years. His multiple releases on different prestigious labels such as The Tapeworm and Moving Furniture has proven him to be not only prolific but also to ensure an outstanding quality standard in his productions.
The past year was definitely a year of consecration for this composer who has got gigs in many of the major electronic music festivals around Europe and established himself as one of the names not to overlook.
In Breach, Zeno offers a very personal view of the “post-club” phenomenon. Here the Ikedian glitch aesthetic gets structured into stable rhythmical patterns that remind of the golden age of minimal techno and blend with deep drone noises that wink at Lawrence English. The drum driven nature of his music pulls it out of the pure experimental scene and puts him at the forefront of the grey zone that is in between all this and Marcel Dettmann, thanks also to the harmonic and industrial elements in the materials he uses.
This is music for the masses, where “mass” is not addressed in a political sense but more as a physical entity: a meaty clump shaking, throbbing and vibrating together with the low waves and the pulses. In this sense Zeno fully inherits all the key characteristics of the Dutch club scene from the ‘90s acting as a refined offspring of Djax-Up-Beats and R&S records. His sounds are intense, massive and unquestionably dark.
On the other end, this record also feels as a landing point, not only for Zeno but for the entire “post-club” movement, in transition from being a wave of artists in a process of definition to an established, fixed genre with its rules. Breach, in this sense, is so precise and iconic that sets the ground to define a paradigm for contemporary club music, 2020’s IDM.
As such declination of techno might appear unheard of in the contemporary experimental music scene, also due to the timbres Zeno uses that are so rare to find tossed in this sauce, the presence of loose structures and the illusion of non-determinism is something that sent me back to the American outsider techno circa 2013 that has its best examples on labels such as L.I.E.S, The Trilogy Tapes, C.C.C.P and Forbidden Planet. Whether this reference is conscious or not and albeit with some differences, I couldn’t avoid thinking of releases from Greg Beato and Steve Summers when listening to this.
In conclusion Van Der Broek’s work appears strongly relevant to scene he refers to and it’s an interesting and very well crafted add to the record collection of those who like to spin bizarre tunes at parties.