Never one to toe any kind of sonic line, Pezzner has been plying his craft since the ‘90s issuing singles and remixes on quality imprints such as 8 Bit, the Crosstown Rebels offshoot label RebelLION, dirtybird, Ovum Recordings, Anjunadeep, Leftroom, Systematic and Freerange.
With his sophomore album Last Night In Utopia released late last year, here the Seattle-based artist drops an hour of twisted house grooves for our ongoing mix series.
Thanks for talking to us… what have you been up to recently?
It’s my pleasure! Recently it’s been a bit of a whirlwind. In the last few months I moved into a new studio so I've been able to pay more attention to my art and the business. The studio is within walking distance from my house, and the new setup is way more office-like and conducive to not only better creative workflow but also for my music. It’s really motivating.
So right now I'm working on some new tracks for Systematic's 10 year compilation series, as well as remixes for labels like, 2020 Soundsystem and Union Jack Records, and fine tuning my live PA for upcoming shows. I recently signed on with Elite Music Management to handle my worldwide booking and one can only imagine, I've seen more of the world in the last 3 weeks than I did in the last 3 years. It’s amazing!
You released your second LP, Last Night in Utopia, late last year… how would you say your output has developed since your debut on Freerange?
Is interesting how changes in your personal life can affect your art. I mean, it makes perfect sense, and it’s something that any artist needs to accept about themselves. To be honest, I sometimes wish that I can go back and channel the Pezzner of 2009 but my creative brain seems to want to move forward. I guess it’s just part of evolving as an artist.
Since ‘09 my family has moved twice, we had a child, and I've produced in 4 different studio locations. Traveling constantly and pulling inspiration from everything along the way. These days I feel like I'm trying to push my creative boundaries a little further and work even more out of my 'safe zone'. So I think that this sort of shows in the variety of flavours I've been putting out over the last few years.
With such a huge focus on EDM in the States, do you think it’s harder for US-based underground artists like yourself to make a name for themselves?
You know, I have a theory about this and I've shared it with quite a few people. First of all, I'm busier right now that I have ever been, perhaps with the help the perfect storm of Elite Music Management, Systematic and Crosstown, but also I think because 'house music' as a whole is growing more popular in the US than it has been in a while.
I think that in the next couple years we are going to see a major renaissance in the US house music scene as these EDM and dubstep kids grow up and want to socialize in a less in-your-face party environment. Of course they will all still want to dance, but the craze, and the lights and the abrasiveness of EDM will wear thin on everybody and when it does, we'll be waiting for them.
How and where was the mix recorded?
This mix was recorded at home using Traktor and a pair of Behringer CMD PL-1 controllers, and pieced together rather meticulously. At the nightclubs, I'm using CDJ-2000s and either Allen & Heath or Pioneer mixer as a standard, because I feel the live DJ performance comes across a little more with the standard gear, but I think this setup is ideal for creating a perfect recording, which is what I strive for when I do my home mixes.
Any tracks on there in particular you’d like to highlight?
Everything in this mix, every track has its rightful place and each song was carefully selected to take you to each point in the playlist. Some of my favourites are Magnus Magnusson's completely mental mix of S&M's, ‘Not Enough’. Matthew Anderson's ‘Off The Back’ which seems to blow up every room I play it in. Rene Van Munster's mix of Discrete's ‘You Know I'll Make It’ is so damn surreal. I love it.
Do you have a busy summer ahead of you?
Yes it’s shaping up to be that way. Elite has been on fire getting me new shows and it seems like every day I'm looking into my calendar and seeing new gigs popping up. Just in the last 2 weeks I had gigs in Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Tel Avi, and Shanghai. I'm going to Vilnius and Riga this weekend, and I'll be in Montpellier, Glasgow, and Barcelona over the next couple weeks. Definitely the busiest I've ever been.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about…?
Sure! Keep an eye out for my next singles on Systematic. They are releasing the first part of ‘One Up (Drop Of Fears)’ with remixes by Ryan Crosson, Gorge, and Andre Hommen this June. A follow up will most likely happen end of summer with a stellar mix by Marc Romby, and I did one myself.