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In Session: Zenker Brothers

Munich's world-conquering siblings take us through their immersive brand of techno

  • Patrick Hinton
  • 27 October 2016

Dario and Marco Zenker are two artists who are building something special. Through the Ilian Tape label they co-founded the brothers have set out a blueprint for a richly textured form of techno, crafted to precision to move a dancefloor in both a physical and emotional sense.

Based in Munich, the label’s output has been powerful in a more subtle manner than the no-holds-barred approach commonly found pounding clubs into submission in Germany’s capital city and famed industrial techno stronghold Berlin, with Marcel Dettmann naming the duo’s music as his “weapon of choice” when pursuing a sharp shift of tone in a set. It melds UK-styled breakbeats with layers of expansive bass and lustrous synths, resulting in a more immersive experience. See cuts such as Andrea’s ‘Rainbow’ and ‘TSV WB’ from the Zenker Brothers’ appropriately-titled debut LP ‘Immersion’ for examples.

It’s an MO that comes with the territory. Located within the country’s joint-southernmost state Bavaria, Munich is a leafy city that sits in close proximity to the majestic natural beauty of the snowy peaks of the Alps. The influence of this setting feeds into a sound that can feel mountainous in its range.

Narrow the focus even closer to home, and the impact of the Zenker Brothers’ upbringing in Munich becomes even more apparent. While their youthful listening predominantly amounted to East Coast hip hop and the likes of Gang Starr and Wu-Tang Clan, the formative role of the local scene began to take hold after they hit teenaged years.

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