We have had the pleasure of speaking with Random Atlas and Marzian who publish TZANTZA on Belly Dance Services.
Can you tell us a little about your experience? Where are you from/ how did you get into music? Was it all internet based?
We curiously met around six years ago here in Berlin, but we both come from Santiago de
Chile and actually grew up in adjoining neighborhoods and very similar cultural and musical
Our path into music for both came at an early age in similar ways, growing up playing guitar,
in musical families and contexts where music became the pillar and essence of our lives.
Therefore there has always been a strong connection between us, which is reflected in our
various projects: Our band Random Atlas, our record label ODD Pleasures, our partnership
in other projects, and of course our friendship.
I'm from Buenos Aires, Argentina. My music making journey started about eight years ago,
playing with Traktor. After that, I got into Ableton Live. At first it was smoking several joints
and tweaking every virtual knob/fader without having a clue about what I was doing. This
absolut flexible and free way of discovering things was a key factor because it gave me the
experience of making sounds in unorthodox ways only guided by sound and feeling.
Sometime after I started studying some music production.
Who have been your main inspirations (both musical and in "life")? And how have they
affected your sound?
We love music in general in all forms and styles. In terms of our inspirations for Random
Atlas, there are different sounds that influence us, we feel very much inspired by the 80s
sound from bands like Depeche Mode, The Cure, New Order, Los Prisioneros among many
others. As well as a widely diverse sonic world which includes Jazz, Trip hop, Rock,
Post-Punk, EBM, Electro, Disco, and more exotic eastern sounds.
I think my main inspirations are Pink Floyd and Gustavo Cerati. It doesn’t mean music is
always related to those artists, but they have always certainly been a huge influence on me.
I’m always searching for new sounds and taking some of that inspiration with me throughout
How would you define your sound?
The best part of “our sound” is not defining it. It is just a reflection of our musical dialogue
and creative journey. We hope it keeps in constant change and evolution to never become
too fixed or too defined so we can always surprise ourselves, keeping it fresh and enjoying
Our latest release ‘Tzantza’ is a blend of widely different influences that culminate in the
psychedelic jazzy side, the electro/dance side, and the hypnotic and more eclectic sound.
A few years ago when I was playing at a venue, a girl came to me and said “your music is
like a dreamy state”.
I think that is the closest way of defining my sound.
How has your sound evolved so far?
Our first EP “Cara o Sello” explores dark disco/ rock territory with nightmarish twisted vibes,
our second EP “Sample & Hold” dives into a powerful electro club sound and has a more
aggressive darker side to it. Our third EP in collaboration with our dear friend Marzian
“Tzantza”, explores more eclectic territory with a mysterious sci-fi and exotic driving sound.
Our singles cover a wide sonic palette and our LP, still in process, will surprise you with a
romantic throwback to the 90’s/early 2000’s sound much more hard/stoner rock oriented
among other interesting influences.
I like to think that the evolution of ‘my sound’ relates directly with my capacity of generating
different feelings or sensations. Right now I'm working on an album that is almost a
cinematic experience. A conceptual work that took me to write about a journey and personal
experience through an audiovisual story.
What can you tell us about your last job? What inspired you? What do you want to convey?
It’s kind of a funny story, Marzian was touring in Europe and at some point he posted an
Instagram Story saying that he was gonna come to Berlin for a few days, and that he was up
to hanging out, if anyone wanted to meet him. We texted him and he said that he was gonna
drop by our studio with his live set, so we could make some music together. And that’s how it
all started, we connected our gear to his and started jamming over tribal percussion samples
he had. The idea was to create ritualistic rhythms, mix them with hypnotic synths, leads
,basslines and all of it surrounded by spaced out atmospheres. That's how we started
jamming and recording. Back then our dear friend and excellent wind instrument player, José
Pedro Cordova was visiting us and we thought it might be a good idea to throw some freaky
sax lines on top of the material we were creating in order to give it a more of a jazzy strange
It was an awesome experience, not just because I really like the music we were able to
create but also because we connected and forged our friendship in that moment. That
connection really inspired me.
What can you tell us about each song that makes up your latest work? What is hidden
We believe that the whole EP is an instant musical dialogue that we were able to create,
capture and sculpt together, working four days in a row, getting to know each other, eating
hamburgers and having fun making music. “Barricada” is an exploration that came out
through jam sessions, locked up in the studio during crazy warm summer days playing and
recording, while “Tzantza” was more of a back and forth thing that started in the studio and
then Marzian took home with him, worked on it in his studio and sent to us so we could give
it a final twist and finish it. We all really liked the results immediately. We also got really
impressed by the remixes that Cornelius Doctor and Oberst & Buchner came out with, killer
How are you living the current situation because of COVID? Has your work affected you a
lot? Do you think there is hope? I feel like the underground scene will continue to persist.
Well in our case we’ve been able to keep busy working on various other projects. Producing
and engineering for other artists, working on our own personal music as well as while
working on our first LP as Random Atlas. We believe that the current situation has changed
our direction quite a lot, since there hasn’t been much clubbing activity, we started focusing
on a much more ‘band oriented’ kind of workflow and music. Less dance music type of
sound, which has been very refreshing for us since we come from a band background
therefore it has been pretty organic and natural for us to go in this direction.
Right now I think we’re accepting that this is going to be with us for a long time, something
like the flu. At first it really shook me, but now I'm feeling kind of “back to normal”.
In Argentina there is an economic crisis (nothing new around here) , a really bad one. So
that is the main topic, Covid is like a joke compared to that.
What projects are you working on right now?
We recently finished a remix for Franz Mathews that will come out soon on Heimlich Musik.
We are really excited about that one. There is a killer new ‘ODD Pleasures’ compilation that
will come out in April. We are also preparing the next releases of the label for this year and
of course our LP, we plan on finishing it probably by the end of this year.
I’m looking to expand the artistic language. As I previously mentioned, I'm working on an
album that includes visual work. So that’s my main focus right now, besides making music