Mat Zo is finally here with his album, Illusion of Depth, released via Above & Beyond‘s imprint, Anjunabeats. Purely based on his history of albums and what we’ve heard off the album, it was clearly going to be an exceptional experience. Even with that expectation in mind, Illusion of Depth manages to deliver, and go beyond.
The artist consistently maintains a golden standard of presenting creativity and sonic depth which is distinctly unique to his work. Notably, he always pushes the envelope stylistically, providing a wide array of genres and influences. In this instance, Mat maintained the spirit while simultaneously honing in on a distinct concept that binds everything together.
Mat Zo – Illusion of Depth
“I was getting really tired of how clean everything is in this corner of dance music. Above all else, I wanted to make an album with grit, texture, and attitude. I wanted to make a fuck you statement to the safe, sugary, fluffy world of a post-EDM trance“Mat Zo
The statement echoes significantly thought the album, since Mat focused on bringing attitude to Illusion of Depth. Throughout the experience, the album provides gritty and rough textures among the cleaner tones. By all means, the intention is crystal clear, as the edges themselves are a pivotal part of the picture. The artist clearly placed a distinct identity onto each track, in a way that allows them to connect. Overall, it earnestly provides an interesting hearing experience that still hits all the best and memorable marks.
On that note, to distill an aspect of how this came to be, you can hear the live studio session of ‘Problems‘ with Olan, who played an integral role in the album.
Illusion of Depth introduces variety and shifting tones from the starting track, ‘In Media Res‘, highlighting the movements, attitude, and grit going forward. From that point, ‘Love Songs‘ enters, and you’ll notice that each previous release off the album has a new intro that binds tracks together. Onward, ‘Problems‘ with Olan, and ‘The Next Chapter‘ featuring MC GQ come into play. ‘Bruxism‘ then shows up as a highlight track, presenting unique energy and textures through its driving and whirling synths alongside powerful percussive tones.
Following, ‘Fly While You’re Still Free‘ brings a combination between powerful rhythms with a melodic edge to them. ‘Petrushka‘ then pulls things back toward a darker and deeper sound, giving it an ethereal tone with the plucks towards the second half of it. On the other hand, ‘Dangerous Feeling’ completely pulls on melodic harmonies, taking the album into brighter territories with the characteristic vocals and infectious rhythms. Nonetheless, the track adds crunchy and acidic tones as it progresses, leading into Olan, ‘Colours‘ with Olan. Right after, we’re hit with one of Mat Zo’s best tracks to date that is also alongside Olan, ‘Paralysis‘. It leaves a memorable mark with its vulnerable atmosphere that then strikes into a cathartic and enormous break. Finally, ‘Begin Again‘ ends the album on a delicate and star-twinged track which maintains the best features throughout the experience.
Listen to Mat Zo stun on Illusion of Depth via Above & Beyond’s imprint, Anjunabeats, below!