Mat Zo Took Exchange LA on a 5-Hour Musical Journey
EXPERIENCE BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON
I swear I had never heard so many people cheer between songs, and I had never seen so many people weep cheers of joy at a DJ set. Mat Zo managed to bring all of the emotions out of the crowd from start to finish of his five hour set at Exchange LA.
Before getting into the show, here's a little background on Mat Zo. Matan Zohar was born in London to an artistic family with his father being a painter, and his mother and uncle professional musicians. He fell in love with music at a young age, and it didn’t take long for him to shift his focus to electronic music with acts like Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers, and The Prodigy ruling the day in Europe. He was soon DJing around London and working on his own material.
When he was just 16 years old, he released his first single titled Exodus on a:LOUD Recordings. His trance and progressive house styles soon earned him the attention of Above & Beyond and their label, Anjunabeats. He released countless singles and remixes on Anjunabeats, Astralwerks, and other labels, as well as mixing the ever classic Anjunabeats Worldwide 02. I highly recommend checking it out as well as all the other Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep mix CDs. I also recommend Mat Zo’s compilation album, Anjunbeats pres. Mat Zo 01, if you want a taste of Mat Zo’s style early on in his career.
In addition to all of the singles, remixes, and compilations, Mat Zo also has two full-length albums and an EP to his name. Damage Control was released in 2013 to critical acclaim. It reached number one on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Album. One of the singles, Easy, was a collaboration with Porter Robinson and reached the coveted number one spot on Beatport in 2012. The hit of a track samples vocals from Nothing Better by Colourblind.
Self Assemble followed just three years later and was released on his own record label, Mad Zoo, and had countless features spanning from Chuck D of Public Enemy to Linnea Schossow, Marcus Shossow’s very talented sister. The second album didn’t contain as many features as the first, but it did feature collaborations with I See MONSTAS and Sinéad. His three song EP, the Mad EP, followed just three weeks after that also under his own label.
With such an impressive track record and vast array of productions to his name, Mat Zo had us in for a wild ride of a night. I had never seen a DJ play a five hour set, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. In the past, Mat Zo has produced drum n bass tracks under the name MRSA so I could only guess that his set would span many different styles.
Well, this was only kind of right. Mat Zo not only played samplings of his entire discography, he did so while taking us on a musical journey over the decades. He played classic electronic dance tracks right alongside his own masterpieces, and he did so all night long. His original tracks such as Pyramid Scheme, Rebound, and Get Up 2 Get Down blended perfectly with classic tracks like My Friend by Groove Armada, Axwell’s remix of In the Air by TV Rock, and No Good by The Prodigy.
The highlight of the night for me was when Mat Zo dropped one of his collaborations with Arty, Mozart, to the pure elation of the crowd. Mozart is my personal favorite Mat Zo track, and it is the track the encouraged me to explore the sounds of trance and progressive house more.
While Mat Zo destroyed the dancefloor at the main stage upstairs, Modern Disco Ambassador residents Chef Boyarbeats, Fantom Freq, and yours truly, DJ Moose Trax, had the pleasure of bringing The Gallery Room a fresh supply of underground sounds. I swear the dance floor was on fire by the end of the night with the amount of dancing that was taking place.
It was certainly a night that no one in attendance will forget any time soon. If you get the chance to see Mat Zo at a venue near you, especially at a club like Exchange, take it and thank me later.
Until next time Ambassadors.