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EP Review and Mini Interview: Starcide - Blazar

Updated: Aug 13, 2023


Industrial Techno based on the facts of the cosmological anomalies and bodies of the universe? F**K YES! Nerd and music overload time people. This EP has stunned me from start to finish and I loved every second of it, I really believe that you all will too!

 

STARCIDE is an industrial techno concept project by the brothers Marco and Andrea Zen based in Reggio Emilia (Italy)


The project focuses on the frontier physical science dealing with extreme cosmic events and strange quantum effects.


The songs content and atmospheres are studied to include both an informative Imprint, more technical, merged with an inspirational/emotional approach that focuses attention on the nature of reality and the role of human beings in the Universe. Black holes, singularities, strange stars and upsetting quantum phenomena are some of the elements introduced in the tracks. The music style includes references to many genres: industrial, industrial techno, hard techno, electro, EBM, trance, with an evident EDM inclination.


Starcide is and evolution of previous music experiences of the band members, in particular the industrial project “Ballistic” and the more recent electro metal project “Distortion Grid”.


The EP:

Blazars are the most energetic cosmic events known. An ultra-massive black hole shooting gamma particles beams from its poles billions of lightyears long. This Starcide EP is a view on some of the themes covered by the project. The way scientific topics are treated is rigorous even if the scope is to convey emotions and focus attention on the most amazing aspects of the new vision of reality

presented to us in the recent scientific theories. Starcide uses powerful electronic music and the cold but stimulating techno atmospheres to fully immerse yourself in the immensity of the cosmos or in the alienating and hyper-energetic subatomic world.


Track 1: BLAZAR The title track focuses on the Blazar phenomenon. An evolving techno/EBM ride describing the creative/destructive essence of these incredible cosmic objects.


Track 2: QUASAR Blazar and Quasar are terms used to describe the same cosmic object. The difference is the orientation of the relativistic jets generated by their poles and the point of view of the observer. An industrial techno track on which dancing and meditating….


Track 3: REDSHIFT Redshift is a Doppler effect applied to light rays. It is used to measure the distance of a cosmic object and the velocity/acceleration at which it is moving away from us as a consequence of the Universe expansion. This EBM track tries to transmit amazement in front of the astonishing cosmic size.


Track 4: OORT The Oort cloud is a spherical «shield» of comets and asteroids located around the solar system between 0.3 to 1.5 light years distance from the Sun. It represents the outer boundary of our system. Everything outside is totally alien…


Track 5: GRAVITATIONAL PIT Any object with mass has its own gravitational pit, even a human being. In the most extreme cases, the curvature of space-time is such as to modify the very essence of matter, generating singularities. An hard techno dance-y vibe with metal elements and an unusual timecode.

 

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Interview


Q. Hi Marco and Andrea! Please tell us a bit about yourselves, where you first started with making music, and what brings you to this point with Starcide?

Marco: Hi Canis, first of all nice to meet you and thanks for hosting us on Elektro Vox. We both started playing piano and keyboards when we were kids. When I was teen, as a young metalhead I started playing guitar too, while Andrea was more oriented to stay on the keys. I spent my early youth as guitarist in hardcore and crossover bands, but I’ve always had my synths to get my hands on. Andrea has progressed through a wide range of genres, ranging from classical to funky, punk and industrial rock and he has always favoured performing live, he did a lot of experience as pianist/organist during those years.

In my life I’ve always been attracted by technology and electronics and when I discovered that angry music could also be made with electronic instruments (it was not so obvious at that time) it was a real revelation. So, we both started to follow bands such as Front 242, Nitzer Ebb, FLA, Swamp Terrorists, Atari Teenage Riot and more and we started getting into aggressive dance genres.

We have experienced the rave scene of the 90s while always maintaining a close link with the Industrial culture. After becoming familiar with the technological tools available at that time I started performing industrial gabber and techno at raves when I was not involved in some hardcore/metal project as guitarist. In the next few years we founded several projects, sometimes more oriented to the metal/rock scene and sometimes more “synthetic”, but electronics have always had a primary role in our productions. The techno/EBM project Ballistic has been probably the most important experience that influenced Starcide. With Ballistic we played live with Das Ich, Ah Cama Sotz, Neon and other significant acts in the mid-2000s, with Ballistic we published in 2005 the LP “Vs. reality” (Koldfinger/Rustblade Rec.) that is now a rarity for collectors.

In the next years we worked on EDM and industrial metal productions with some side projects and in collaboration with other acts. The desire to return independent and the propensity towards the dancefloor then led us to give life to the Starcide project in 2022.

Q. How would you describe the sound of the music you create and what made you both want to create it?

Andrea: The “Starcide” sound is a combination of genres where Industrial Techno is the guideline, but in which influences of various types convey. We think that Starcide should remain mainly an instrumental project but to expand this concept we intend to get ideas from different genres, including sounds and vocals inspired by noise psychedelic/shoegaze scene of the '90s (Telescopes, Spacemen 3...) by adding some more saturation/distortion but keeping melodic lines intelligible, we think it’s an unusual and full of potential combination that we will adjust and improve further in the future.

Q. Starcide sounds like one of the best concepts for a band and it's music that I've ever heard! So please tell us more about what made you choose this concept and how that concept is put into the tracks that you make?

Marco: I have a degree in technical physics and an innate passion for frontier science and technology. In my artistic career I have dealt with various themes, even extreme and disturbing ones but let's be honest: what's more scary and gargantuan (but above all true...) than an ultra-massive black hole devouring an entire galaxy? or a neutron star which, by rotating at more than 70,000 rpm, disintegrates all the matter that comes close enough to it, emitting radiation beams at an unimaginable level of power? Or what is more "magical" than two particles that can instantly influence each other at light years distance …? In some of our tracks we used sampled sounds taken directly by cosmic objects through innovative decoding techniques and both music and lyrics are created taking in strong consideration the inspiration themes. When we play our tracks, people should dance being thrown directly in the Open Space facing astonishing and cataclysmic cosmic events or at Planck scale immersed in a world where the physical laws we know are totally distorted.

Q. This EP sounds like it would be incredible live, especially 'Oort'. Have you played any live Starcide shows yet and if not, where would you like to play?

Marco/Andrea: Yes, the live act is an important part of the project. When we play live, we use videos showing images describing the content of the tracks. Mostly the videos are mixed live by Vjs so the coherence between music and images is always guaranteed.

The idea of our set is combining deep rave “dancy” atmospheres with an emotional but scientifically rigorous information even if the themes we deal with are so borderline that sometimes they go towards sci-fi, mysticism or metaphysics. The images are strongly evocative, sometimes impressive, mainly artistic reconstructions but we use tons of original scientific video material too. Then our Vjs merge scientific videos with more abstract and experimental content to push as hard as possible on visual impact and emotional feedback all while supporting the rhythmic part and the propensity for dance. We have already performed live with Starcide, just a few events with an unexpected amazing audience response since this is a very young project, but the situation for hardliner live electronic music in Italy is not easy and for emerging bands is very difficult to get the opportunity to play live, more than in other countries where extreme electronic genres are more popular and can count on a substantial audience base.

Q. I see you have a new remix of 'Blazar' coming out soon by my good friend Seraphim System, how did you end up working together?

Marco/Andrea: Yeah, it has been a surprise… ! We've followed John for a long time, I consider Seraphim System one of the best industrial act on the current scene (E.V: AGREED!) and when we opened our Instagram page, his was the first we started to follow!

Our EP “Blazar” has been published very close to his latest release, so we have been often side by side in the online promotion of our works making him know about our project and probably he appreciated it. So, when he proposed to us to make a remix of one of our tracks, we were very happy and proud . The remix is very good and a different interpretation of the track but keeping its original essence, in some way it’s complementary to it.

Q. What are your plans for the future of Starcide?

The next step is surely to increase the live activity but in parallel we are working on new material in which we are concentrating all the specific experience gained in these months testing the project. In terms of sound, we are improving our studio by adding some new modular gear, our target is to achieve an ideal balance between distortion, power and sound definition on both studio and live by keeping the original atmospheres we would like to recreate. Some new external collaborations in post-production will be another important step to achieve . But our main goal is to find the best way to convey - through our sound and our show - the awe, wonder, and devastating power of the most extreme physical phenomena, and this represents the very essence of Starcide.


Incredible, thank you!

 

Review

Imagine your night has reached a peak moment, the alcohol is flowing, you're finally feeling amazing, the dance floor calls and the second you find a good place to dance.. Hard audio bliss drops a spine shredding beat out of nowhere..

You are free, you are alive, you are spiritually home.

That is the power of 'Quasar' and the introduction to this EP. Industrial / Techno so good that you feel at one with the universe and each moment of your dance amongst it. This track is fast - heavy drums, with sonar like pinging synths, pinging harder than the crowd, this easy listening - yet powerful track is what dancefloors were made for!


'Blazar' hits out another tasty beat with rolling synths and loops to take you on quite an energy packed journey. This track has lyrics included which remind me of fantasy rock and metal, but when put to this type of electro - well, it's something quite interesting and really does feel like this is the 'future' in future pop.


'Redshift' is like a gear shift down from 'Blazar' lyrically and electronically it's quite similar but very unique in its own way, just a little less heavy. That's not to say it isn't heavy. It is! It's consistent in its upbeat dancefloor power rhythm throughout.


My favourite track on this is 'Oort' it hits all the best spine tingling bits in techno. A nice build up, a steady increase in tempo and layers, A POWERFUL addition of trumpet like sounds similar to that you get in Hollywood films where a large spaceship or monster appears, then a good amount of little drops throughout that keep the pace, the emotion, and freshness coming non-stop.

If I DJ a techno set live at any point, this track is without a doubt being included.


'OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ', Who here doesn't love that about Industrial / Techno?' Gravitational Pit is also another killer track that is high in BPM, dance inducing stomps, many an 'OONTZ', and adds in some more lyrical content to make it more crowd friendly. This is the type of industrial track that gets groups of people asking for a setlist after the DJ is done!


Bonus single release!

You like guitars? Starcide throws those in to the mix and has created a real chaotic metal industrial track that nearly melted my eardrums.. Lovely!


Conclusion


Every single second of the Blazar EP is utterly fantastic. The monumental power of the universe thrown in to the form of electronic music is a wonder to experience! You simply can't escape the pull and gravitas of the monstrous techno blasting in your ears - This packs a comet sized punch!

If Starcide every play in the UK, I'm there! No doubt in my mind whatsoever.

Do go listen follow this band because this is an incredible concept and bursting with potential!

 

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