Just last week, we reported on Mat Zo making a "return to his roots" in a remix of a classic house track, "Son of a Gun." With its release, he called it a sort of answer to all of his fans that throughout his career have been asking him to "return" to his trance roots. Zo has explored many a genre and sound throughout that career as a DJ and producer, while the beginnings of his career lay with trance and the Anjunabeats label.
As we've seen little blips like this before - exploring disco, dubstep, rock, and ultimately trance - the question is, will Mat Zo land in one place? If we're evaluating based on his music in the past four years, the answer is probably not. But, the British artist continues to give us hints - and more and more trance. This week, he revived a relic from his past, a track integral to his career, but in a new way. "Hurricane" was a track off of his first album, Damage Control, in 2013. The album was highly regarded, with impressive collaborations and style explorations all around, and successfully told a story in a time when just about every electronic artist was throwing themselves in the "need to release an album" club. Damage Control went on to be nominated for a Grammy and climb the Billboard heatseekers and electronic charts. Surely, the album was an impressive achievement for the British artist.
But of course, there is a creative process in developing any music, and this week Mat Zo has offered up vulnerability and what could have been for the track "Hurricane." In a personal post on Instagram, Zo explained his struggle with the creation of the track.
This is actually the original version of Hurricane. I didn't put it on the album because it was at a time where I wanted to move away from trance, so I remade it into the version that's on Damage Control. I played it once on a live broadcast and ever since people have been asking for it. Luckily I found a copy on my old HD. It's terribly mixed and partly unfinished, but I figured since people still ask about it to this day, why not just give it away.
With his trance roots seemingly in his way, Zo continued developing "Hurricane" into a track that felt more Chemical Brothers with an Anjunabeats-style vocal from Eyes That Lie. Now nearly four years later, we get a glimpse at the track's original form. And from the date, it looks like Zo had this one working from 2011. The second trance release in a few weeks, "Hurricane (2011 Club Mix)," makes us wonder, is this something that will continue? But that's not the end of the story, either.
Zo posted another video of himself to Instagram, this time playing piano over a classic Ferry Corsten track: "Out of the Blue" from his System F moniker. The classic track has been made over again and again through its near 17-year existence, and it looks like Zo is toying with it too.
So now, he's releasing trance tracks, openly composing them and even more, he announced the return to his home at Anjunabeats for their annual Miami Music Week party in March. It's been some years since he's joined the party's lineup, and he's coupled the announcement with that of his Self Disassemble Tour that follows the release of Self Assemble in 2016. He's been clear - this Anjunabeats-style will not be leaving us for now, and the Self Disassemble Tour will be genre specific offering just that style that fans always seem to ask him about. But performances aside, it leaves us wondering, what kind of music will we see Mat Zo release in the rest of 2017?