Kill the Zo takes over San Francisco for debut performance [Review]
When Kill the Noise and Mat Zo announced their collaborative tour, we were unsure what to expect. Would it consist of double-headlining nights with successive sets, or perhaps the extended back-to-back performances which the name would suggest? Fortunately for fans, the reality of the concept was a convergence of both ideas with Jake and Matan each playing individual sets before finishing the night off with a back-to-back stint.
Taking place at San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom, the night got underway immediately as Kill the Noise took the stage shortly after doors opened to a beckoning crowd of bass fiends. Rather than ease our ears into temperature of the night, Stanczak delved directly into the heavier material, playing tracks like his remix of “Jokes On You” and Skrillex’s “Ease My Mind.”
Perhaps most impressive about Stanczak’s mixing is his ability to move BPMs seemingly without a hitch, moving the tempo to 160 for Dillon Francis’s remix of “Knas” and then soon back down to 128 for his collaborative remix of “NRG” with Skrillex and Milo & Otis. The set peaked with Jake’s unreleased rendition of Gent & Jawns’ “TURNUP,” incorporating a riotous big room first drop before swapping out the 4×4 beat for a halftime trap second drop.
Thanks to their collective penchant for CDJs, the transition into Mat Zo’s set was instantaneous as the British prodigy took over within seconds. As typical of his performances, Zo’s set was flooded with his famous bootlegs such as “Boneless vs Strobe vs Sun & Moon” and “Pyramid Scheme vs Walter White.”Adding to the madness were tracks like Oliver’s “MYB,” Wolfgang Gartner’s “Piranha,” and a mix between Knife Party’s “Destroy Them With Lasers” and Dog Blood’s “Chella Ride.” Rounding out his hour long set, Zo brought the music to a silence before unveiling his cinematic remix to the Lion King classic, “Circle of Life.”
As Mat Zo’s potent drum ‘n’ bass catalyzed the enthusiasm in the room to new heights, Kill the Noise appeared on stage, signaling the third and final saga of the night: the much anticipated Kill the Zo set. Keeping with the lightning quick tempo, the duo introduced some pulverizing neurofunk, taking a page out of their previous lives as drum ‘n’ bass producers. As the set drove on, the two incorporated plenty of new material into the set, including a new collaboration between Kill the Noise and Feed Me as well as what appeared to be a darker Kill the Zo house collaboration. Towards the end of the set, the duo ramped up the tempo back to drum ‘n’ bass for their debut track, “Part I.” While hearing the track in a home setting was impressive enough for its sound design alone, experiencing “Part I” live gives a whole new appreciation for the Kill the Zo vision.
Prior to Thursday, it was unclear to us just what the Kill the Zo concept entailed. In light of their new track and back-to-back performance, however, it’s become apparent that this is more than a fleeting tour, but the dawning of a powerful partnership. Just how far the Kill the Zo collaboration will go is up to the minds of Jake Stanczak and Matan Zohar, yet if Thursday proved anything, this is one super-duo with long lasting appeal.