- Immersion might be the perfect title for Dario and Marzo Zenker's debut album—the Munich brothers' music is nothing if not immersive. Heavy atmospherics, layers of synths and dusty drums define almost all of their work together, resulting in a wealth of dense and engaging tracks. A few months ago they told us that the album's title was self-referential: a desire to "explore unknown territory" and "dive into our sound and let everything go." It could just as easily be used to describe the listening experience they spent most of last year crafting.
Dario and Marco have released far more music separately than together. It may not be totally accurate to say they work better as a pair, but their hit-rate is certainly higher when they do. Their Berg 10 EP, which dropped in 2011, was the first official Zenker Brothers release, and it still ranks among their best work. Broken beats, which the duo have continued to use regularly since, were that record's defining feature. Four years later, shuffling, swinging drums are crucial to Immersion.
Immersion's beats are saturated in disorienting atmospherics, but there's an upbeat drive across the entire album (save the handful of ambient cuts). Take "Innef Runs" and "TSV WB." Both are dense and deep, without any obvious hooks. Coupled with the brothers' deft (and somehow German-sounding) sequencing, however, they become bombs. This precise pacing is part of what makes the Zenker Brothers so good at what they do.
Immersion isn't a step forward so much as a culmination of the music they've released through their label. Ilian Tape has traversed a vast range of house and techno in the last eight years, but remained aesthetically connected by the hazy sounds and rhythms embodied on its first album. In terms of style, the record recalls Jichael Mackson's 2010 Plex EP, which happens to be one of the label's most important 12-inches: it was Ilian Tape's first vinyl release after a money-related three-year hiatus from the format. Dario and Marco said last year that Jichael Mackson's record sounded "totally like Munich." If there's still a Munich sound five years on, Immersion is it.
04. Innef Runs
05. TSV WB
07. High Club
09. Cornel 21