Drum and Bass artist Zen releases his The History of Zen project, a collection of 142 classics, remixes, VIP’s & unreleased material all available exclusively from his own website.
We spoke to the man himself and asked him why he thought now was the right time to release the project?
“We’ve all have had more time on our hands in this lockdown, myself included. I was going through my old hard disk reminiscing and there were just so many tunes on there. I surprised myself!“
“That, plus the fact that I get a fair few messages on where people can get my old tunes from digitally. Also in some of the stores there are several ‘Zens’ from different genres, making it difficult to track down certain tracks, so I thought it was time to create a project and make it exclusive on my own website“
History of Zen
In 1995, Zen met Lee Greenaway, AKA Twisted Individual, on local pirate radio station Shadow FM. Lee was producing at home on his PC back then and inspired Zen to create his own music. Whilst at University, in between studying graphic design and spending many nights under the influence, Zen decided to put his student loan money to good use and bought himself a PC. He got hold of all the software and hardware required and was finally in business and ready to start making tunes.
By now Lee had started Grid Recordings, and took on most of Zen’s early work including Illusions, Tentacle, Jazz Drive, Cyclone, Mind frame and Turn Style (also later re-worked by Baron), tunes that were going to shape his future productions. Tracks such as Kebab Knife, Monster Munch, Rhubarb’n’Custard, and later productions like the anthem “Hovercraft” together with various consistent and distinctive releases on other imprints earned him respect throughout the scene amongst his peers and idols alike.
Fast forward a few years, Zen took a leap of faith and moved from London to Leicester to work alongside DJ SS and the Formation Records camp. This was the home of Twisted Individual & G Dub at the time and they both had studios above the legendary record shop 5HQ.
After hearing Zen’s earlier material SS offered Zen studio space alongside Twisted Individual and G Dub. The energy and vibe was electric and this translated into a barrage of amazing releases from all artists, and looking back defined the sound of that era.
All this activity earnt Zen a nomination for Best Newcomer Producer at the Accelerated Culture Awards 2004, a sure sign of a rising star. On the up with nominations, appearances in Knowledge Magazine, various interviews, reviews, guest features on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 1Xtra & Kiss 100, as well as a healthy international DJ schedule, it seemed Zen was making an impact with his unique raw yet polished sound.
In 2010 Zen joined forces with Playaz / Ganja camp resident Crystal Clear, writing several tracks together including the club anthems “Heavy” and “Bullet”. They gained quick support and proved to have a killer combination of catchy grooves and raw dance floor energy.
Releases on Grid Recordings, Zombie, Formation Records & Ganja Records, as well as releases on his own signature label “Flip Audio” would leave a back catalogue that is extensive to say the least.
The Full Package
The History of Zen project includes 142 tracks digitally remastered & split in to a 4 parts:
- The Classics – 36 Tracks
- The Bangers – 33 Tracks
- The Remixes & VIPs – 40 Tracks
- The Unreleased – 33 Tracks
Other artists featured on these releases include Crystal Clear, Coda, Killabeatz, Rhymestar, Nebulus, Serum, Tantrum Desire, Taxman, Anile, Heist, Baron, Rowney & Props. Also artists he’s remixed such as DJ Krust, DJ SS, G Dub, Greenlaw, Heist, Mutated Forms, Picto, Ravager, Rednek, Twisted Individual, Killerbeatz, DK Foyer!
Zen continues to make music. His musical journey is far from over. Head to zenokomusic.com to get your hands on The History of Zen project & to hear releases under Zen’s House Music alias ‘Zenoko’.
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