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“All sound is musical, be it the brass ensemble of train cars battering from a distance, or the shuffled rhythm of your heart, even the melancholy choral of your refrigerator’s fans in the middle of the night. If you listen with a keen ear, you can hear the most amazing music in everything around you.”
One listen and it’s easy to see how Pezzner’s work speaks to these inspirations. He walks his listeners through figurative landscapes of crowded restaurants, grassy fields, and busy streets, taking them high into the air and deep into the water. ”I want to tell a story with my music, take my listeners from one place to the next and show them some things along the way.”
Pezzner’s sophomore release, ”Last Night In Utopia” (Systematic Recordings) is a display of his own musical ingenuity – layering found sounds atop beds of ambient noise, rich spatial synths grouped with simple, effective percussion. A dramatic soundtrack to his own Utopia, wrapped in a package of hypnotic dance rhythms. Pezzner admits “The majority of this LP was written on the road, on noisy trains, in busy airport terminals, coffee shops… anywhere I could take a moment to soak in my surroundings and draw from my inspirations the moment I had them.”.
Earlier works by Pezzner repeat this same mantra: Dance music for the brain as well as the body. His 2010 LP for Freerange Records ”The Tracks Are Alive” is a 13 track walk through of his electro/organic sounding style, in full dance-floor mode traversing with ease between disco, house and techno. Beatportal wax lyrical how it “blows like a cool breeze through the stale air of a market crowded with by-the-numbers deep house” and Resident Advisor note the “rising, sizzling dub effects” of his ‘Blacklist’ release, adding “a steeliness to his refined contours”. 5 Magazine coins Pezzner’s work as ”Future classics made for dance floors in the here and now”, while Ibiza Voice describes it as ”Lush and tense with a transcendental twist”.
Club shows abound not only in Europe, Pezzner’s live shows and DJ sets have moved the dance floors of some of the most renowned venues including Space Ibiza, Rex Club in Paris, Womb Tokyo, Fabric London, Cielo New York, and Chicago’s famed Smartbar.
“Last Night In Utopia” LP releases November 8 2013 on Systematic with remixes by Robert Babicz, Justin Martin, and Hanssen
Interview with Pezzner:
Where are you from and what are your musical upbringings?
I’m from Seattle, and I began producing music in the early 90s. A time before laptops and DAWs. My studio partner Bob Hansen and I went from experimenting with tape decks, 4 tracks and record players to making beats on Ensoniq Samplers, Synthesizers, Midi recorders and bouncing audio to DAT Tape. Aside from some classes at a local community college in Audio Engineering, I really have had no formal education in music. I don’t know how to play any acoustic instruments, and if you asked me to hammer out a live beat on a drum, the results would be laughable.
Can you tell us how you got mixed up in this crazy world of electronic music?
Bob and I started exploring dance music through the early rave scene in Seattle. We had a mission to release our music and perform at parties around town. I think that once the internet really began to take shape it became easier to reach out to the some of our favorite dance labels. We started production under the name “Jacob London”. We were regular trolls on dance music forums and industry email lists and the more we connected with people the more involved we got.
Can you tell us a little about the city you live in now and the scene there?
I love the music scene in Seattle. Its grown quite a bit over the years and it’s a lot like family. We really only have a handful of venues and crews who strongly support house music but those that do are amazing. Its also home to Decibel Festival which has become somewhat of a claim to fame for Seattle dance music.
Decibel Festival has become a mega event, can you tell us a little about your relationship with the festival and how you have seen it help the scene where you live?
Yeah its hard to believe how far the festival has come since its inception in 2003. In that time they’ve brought in over 1000 performers and now produces over 50 shows a year. They’re now a solid mainstay for Seattle’s dance music. My relationship with the festival has really stemmed from the family like nature of Seattle’s dance music scene. Everyone comes together every year for the festival and I think my involvement in the music scene has helped get me booked each year. Aside from debuting my live PA at the festival, I’ve hosted workshops, spoken on panels and performed at Boiler Room.
You have had so many amazing releases over the years, how do you manage to release so much quality music on a constant basis and still stay current?
Thanks for that! So, music is my day job. I spend in excess of 40 hours a week in the studio and making this my full-time job enables me to put the time needed to keep the momentum going. I get up early, take my daughter to school and get right to work.
When you are not making music, what are you doing?
Fathering… being a husband and a friend to my friends. I also like to cook.
What can we expect from Pezzner in the coming months and 2015?
I’m super excited to be joining the Visionquest crew in January with my first release on the label. There will be more to come on this, but it’s a 4 track release, includes vinyl, and it’s all dance floor music.
What advice would you give to aspiring producers?
Do it because you enjoy doing it, and no other reason.
Who are some of your favorite producers/labels right now?
The list could be really long, but off the top of my head, I’m totally into the music I’m hearing on Keinemusik, &Me, Rampa, Terranova. I think its worth mentioning 2020 Vision is on a roll right now. Oppolopo, Gingy & Bordello, Superflu, HNNY, Breach. Chesus. Appolonia, Gel Abril, Rodriguez Jr, Joal, Fabio Gianelli… I could just keep going and going. There’s so much good music to be had right now.
Can you tell us s little about this mix?
This mix is a little bit of old but mostly new music. I’ve pulled some classic tunes by guys like Soundstream and Fabio Gianelli, but tried to lean a bit on the best of what I’ve found that is fresh and new in the recent months. There was a lot of trial and error involved in coming up with just the right playlist. I hope you enjoy it!