Age : 29 Sex : Male Zodiac : Cancer Country : Canada City : Montreal
Type : Exclusive mix Genre : Psychedelic & Progressive Techno
Hardware : 2x CDJ-350 and a Xone DB2 Software : Ableton
Smelly Feet Records: Tell us a little bit about yourself and the start of your journey.
Zentrix: I am Zentrix, undercover techno DJ operating in the Montreal psy scene. I've been collecting music and messing around with audio software for about 15 years. I got my start looking through records in my hometown record store, where they also used to throw parties on occassion. Mostly acid techno, lots of metal heads and skaters and just general fringe people. The Munson Family crew definitely played a huge role in introducing me to the music... DJ Zach, DJ Fred, Glenn Wildes, these guys really shaped how I thought about DJing and techno music in general. Dropping acid and dancing to techno in the forest definitely played a big part as well, haha...
SFR: Unlike many DJs out there today, your mixes are fueled by all types of genres. Take us through the development of one of your sets.
Zentrix: Well for this mix I stayed pretty much within the realm of house/techno tunes, but sometimes I will approach a mix with the specific idea of bridging certain styles together. These usually take about 2-4 weeks of selecting and re-arranging tracks until I get a flow that feels natural and builds from track to track in a way that makes sense. Everything matters when you're crossing between genres... not just key and tempo but also the rhythmic structure and the texture of the tracks.
"... I will approach a mix with the specific idea of bridging certain styles together...Everything matters when you're crossing between genres... not just key and tempo but also the rhythmic structure and the texture of the tracks."
SFR: You have the incredible talent and foresight in performing Live. What was it that sparked your interest in playing this way?
Zentrix: For my live set, (which is what I call it when I am playing exclusively my own productions in Ableton Live) the development of my current set up has been a long process. It started from a desire to have more hands on control with sound. I originally wanted to be able to tweak on a live synth in time with drums on the computer, but syncing issues led me to where I'm at now... which is kind of this hybrid DJ/livePA monster. I've actually removed a lot of the more intense effects and instruments from my setup recently, and have instead been focusing more on streamlining the setup to make it feel as natural and fluid as possible. I expect that in the next few years I will end up bringing some more complex elements back into it, but right now I've hit a nice balance between flexibility/reliability/performance.
SFR: Describe to us your dream setup and take us through how you would use each piece of hardware to deliver the sound you desire..
Zentrix: Ha... I just sketched out a new design the other week for an ideal gear setup... EuCon faders for 8 automated fader channels, an Ableton Push, and the Xone K2 and MF Twister that I use right now for my live sets. That would give me pretty much all I would need I think... oh and a Virus rackmount synth...
On second thought nah forget all of that, I just want a better room to make sound in. Well maybe keep the Virus... But for a live set though I would love to get my hands on a Inner Clock Systems sync generator and try hooking it up to some external synths. Really 95% of my writing and composition happens inside the box with no need for external equipment, but it's largely due to the fact that my ear is strongly tuned to hear timing errors, so when you run into software/hardware syncing problems while trying to write music it throws me off completely. But with a proper sync system it could be fun to explore hardware again.
"I've actually been lucky enough to play alongside a lot of the people who have inspired me... If I had to pick another artist to actually perform with live... I don't know actually, I kind of like being the only one in control to be honest."
SFR: If you could perform with one other artist, electronic or otherwise, who would it be and why?
Zentrix: I've actually been lucky enough to play alongside a lot of the people who have inspired me in the past few years (Sensient, Grouch, Hedflux, Florian MSK, Ott, ...and I'm sure there's some I am forgetting.) If I had to pick another artist to actually perform with live... I don't know actually, I kind of like being the only one in control to be honest. Florian MSK and I have talked about creating a hybrid live set, but it's still a project in the works. I would be super down to do a tag set with Richie Hawtin I think, to try for the canadian techno crown, haha.
SFR: Tell us about some of your biggest accomplishments thus far - anything in particular you would like to mention?
Zentrix: Playing at Eclipse Festival for Tech Safari was pretty great! It's one of the largest trance festivals in North America (if not the largest) and they've managed to keep it real... after 10 years of doing it it still brings out some amazing moments. I also just recently got to share the stage with Extrawelt when they came out and played for Fractaltribe, and that was pretty big for me. Those guys are a big inspiration when it comes to making really hypnotic psychedelic dance music.
SFR: There has been a fierce traction in the popularity of music festivals in general. What is your take on this and is there anything you would like to say about it?
Zentrix: Large collective gatherings in nature under the stars with loud music are fundamentally important to humans and human society. It's a place to connect with higher states of consciousness in an environment that is generally designed to be safe and supportive for those kinds of experiences. It's important. People need to retain a connection with that basic primal behaviour... listening to music, eating mushrooms, dancing around a fire.
"...gatherings in nature under the stars with loud music are fundamentally important to humans and human society. It's a place to connect with higher states of consciousness in an environment that is generally designed to be safe and supportive..."
SFR: If you were a characteristic of sound, which would you be?
Zentrix: The effect when you start hearing voices and melodies inside of repetitive drum patterns.
SFR: Zentrix, in a few sentences,, tell us about this mix you made for us. Where did you get your inspiration. Is there anything special you want the audience to know?
Zentrix: Well, it's Halloween so I definitely had that in the back of my head while making it. I tried to reach for some darker more brooding stuff, shit that would sound perfect while driving through the city on halloween. I actually had this moment in my head, from when I was like 15 years old, when I heard Green Velvet for the first time. It was on a college radio station that somehow had enough signal strength to make it up to my hometown this one night. I remember it just barely made it through on this scratchy car radio, and I remember thinking like "Man who are these fucking people out there taking pills and listening to this shit... I want to find these people." I think Halloween's a good time to get up to trouble...