Zenker Brothers Immersion
The Ilian Tape label heads deliver a dauntless techno album with their debut full-length effort.
Although they had been consistent producers on their own for years, when Munich’s Zenker Brothers (a.k.a. Marco and Dario Zenker) teamed up in 2011, their sound coalesced into something special. The four years since have seen the Ilian Tape bosses release just as many EPs, with each one making its mark on the modern techno landscape. Their sound is playful, bouncy, and boisterous, and those qualities help make their debut full-length, Immersion, a dauntless techno album.
Immersion‘s foggy stoner techno trades off dancefloor experiences, and does so in a dynamic and cohesive way. Most tracks are powered by thrumming kick drums, but the Zenkers can also move effortlessly from oppressive jungle atmospheres to E-fueled rave highs with a sense of journey. And along the way, they avoid monochrome hues by adding the warm rush of a smeared synth, pensive and celestial chords, or the distorted glow of an apocalyptic laser.
Atmosphere is king in the Zenker Brothers’ world. Even sparse, beatless tracks like “Erbquake” and “Outark” envelope the listener with their gurgling analog landscapes. The broken techno of “Ebbman” and “High Club”’s rubbery churn are intense and all-consuming; despite its reserved tempo, “Innef Runs” is an undulating roller with thunderous power; and “TSV WB” sounds like early, strobe-lit drum & bass. So it’s fair to say the aptly titled Immersion is a heady, heavy album that never lets listeners come up from the smoke and bass to catch their breath.