Electric Zoo Artist Spotlight: Mat Zo
Mat Zo is not just another DJ. The English producer is part of the Anjunabeats family and has been making music since early 2006. Mat Zo is not your average trance producer either. He once said “This whole genres business is like the Berlin wall, and I’m there with a forklift and a wrecking ball.” His lack of restriction has allowed Mat to push the limits to become a different and exciting artist.
When Matan Zohar was just 11 years old, he moved from Cleveland back to his hometown of London to live with his father. Music is in his blood — as his mother was a professional violinist — but he left the classical side behind when a friend gave him a copy of Logic and he began to produce music, however it would be a while before anyone discovered his talents. Surprisingly, the first person to recognize him was none other than trance legend, Tiesto. After remixing his track “Driving to Heaven,” Zo found himself being invited to open for Tijs at the O2 Arena. This would be followed by closing for Tiesto at his Amnesia party that lead to the jump starting of his career.
It was not long after that Anjunabeats found Mat and quickly added him to the family. Most trance artists hail from Sweden or the Netherlands, while England is home to a sea of Drum ‘n’ Bass producers. Despite his runaway success as a trance artist, Zo did not completely break this mold – he also produces under the moniker MRSA for Hospital Records as a DnB artist.
Mat Zo does not produce standard, run of the mill, trance. His epic build ups are darker and more interesting than your usual euphoric productions, they add elements not found in trance. The electro sound has had a huge impact on his tracks, reminiscent of DA favorite deadmau5 – who Mat Zo himself features in nearly all of his sets. His track “Bipolar” is an example of this with its gritty electro elements and pulsating beat.
You can’t speak about “Bipolar” without mentioning his epic, and we mean epic, Bipolar mix. This is what first got me hooked on Zo and it continues to be a favorite mix of mine with a permanent home in my iTunes. In this hour long set, Mat Zo journeys through multiple genres, effortlessly blending tracks and crossing breeding styles without a single hiccup. Trance turns into progressive house then drops into some electro for a minute before touching on some dubbier tracks. A mix like this deserves tremendous praise for its ability to take you on a trip through dance music and all its layers.
Mat Zo takes to the Group Therapy stage Friday at 7:30PM. While you”ll have to pass up on Tommy Trash and possibly the beginning of Luciano and Guetta, Mat Zo is definitely an artist that you should make it a point to see. If you have yet to break into trance, Zo could be the man to guide you to the light. His sets are high energy and his track selection always represents a wide breadth of sounds and styles. If you don’t know where to go, head to Group Therapy – you wont be disappointed.