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Mat Zo is a substantive contradiction on long-awaited artist LP, ‘Illusion of Depth’

The 11-tracker is the London-born, LA-based artist’s third artist concept album.  

One of dance music’s most enigmatic figures returns home to Anjunabeats.  Grammy-nominated producer Mat Zo is back with a brand new artist album, Illusion Of Depth. Prepare for another helter-skelter trip through a pick-n-mix of styles. Illusion Of Depth begins with the brash “In Media Res.” Next comes Zo’s ode to 90s warehouse techno on “The Next Chapter,” featuring legendary jungle/D&B MC GQ. Then, all of a sudden, “Love Songs” and some French, filter house. 

Always one for substance, Zo explains the following of the album, whose title jut so happens to stand in as a intentional contradiction:

I started working on Illusion of Depth because I wanted to make a body of work that was cohesive. I’m usually known for being all over the place, but I wanted to make an album that had unifying qualities. In this case, partly it’s the tempo. Everything on the album is in the 124-128 bpm range, but within that constraint, I still managed to be all over the place stylistically. There’s also a lot more live/non-digital elements on this album than my previous work. I was getting really tired of how clean everything is in this corner of dance music. Above all else, I wanted to make an album with grit, texture, and attitude. I wanted to make a fuck you statement to the safe, sugary, fluffy world of a post-EDM trance.

Mat Zo

The album introduces Atlanta-based songstress/producer, Olan, whom Mat has worked with for a number of years. There’s a nod to classic rave culture and The Chemical Brothers with her vocals on “Problems,” while the closing track, “Paralysis” is a cinematic rock crescendo.  

A big part of the conception of the album came from working with Olan. She’s a highly skilled singer, songwriter, and producer and we’ve known each other for years. We had been in the studio working on a bunch of material before this, and that helped us grow a common musical identity. When it came to writing this album we were already comfortable with each other. This allowed the songs on the album, to be honest, opposed to a bunch of toplines plastered on top of already formed tracks. Every song we wrote together is personal, sincere, and holds a lot of meaning for both of us,” said Zo on working with Olan.

Mat Zo has stayed close with Anjunabeats through that time, joining Above & Beyond for shows at Madison Square Garden and Huntington Beach, and Anjunabeats label shows all throughout North America. With over a decade of groundbreaking records under his belt, Mat’s legion of devoted fans have flocked to see him live at festivals internationally—from Southern California’s Nocturnal Wonderland, Holy Ship!, Sunset Music Festival, and Beyond Wonderland Mexico. Zo has also performed at esteemed venues like the Hollywood Palladium alongside Kill the Noise, Red Rocks (rescheduled in 2021 to play with Galantis), New York’s Webster Hall, and Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom.   

Now in quarantine, Zo has worked on producing his own immersive digital events. October 23 and 24 marks the start of the Mad Zoo Events’ Stratosfest Minecraft Festival. The virtual event will feature headlining trance sets from Above & Beyond, ATTLAS, Darude, Ferry Corsten, Gabriel & Dresden, Hellbound, ilan Bluestone, Jordin Post, Mat Zo, No Mana, Olan, Qrion, and Tritonal. Learn more here, and tickets on sale here.  

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