words: Andy McColgan
The man behind the monster hit that is Kernkraft 400 returns with a new album and some more massive tunes. Get ready for Zombielicious…
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since Zombie Nation’s all-conquering mutant techno monster Kernkraft 400 first tore up the world’s dancefloors. Since that early seminal release, the man behind the zombie, Florian Sentfer, has been one busy German. Under the Zombie Nation guise he’s released hits such as Soul At Zero, Booster and Money Talks, and via his pseudonym John Starlight, he’s given us some brilliant song-based tracks such as Blood Angels and Road Rage. More recently he’s teamed up with Tiga under the name ZTT to release Lower State Of Consciousness and last year’s dancefloor destroyer The Worm.
To celebrate 10 years of zombification, 2009 sees Florian return with a devastatingly good collection of songs forming his fourth studio album. A more polished affair than we’ve come to expect from Zombie Nation, Zombielicious is essentially a combination of all the sounds Florian has made over the last decade. It’s full of inventive ideas, pop hooks and off-kilter song structures. It also shows off the producer’s love affair with vintage synthesiser wizardry. And with remixes aplenty in the pipeline – for the likes of Adam Freeland and The Presets – it doesn’t look like Florian’s planning to slow down any time soon. EQ caught up with him during his busy pre-release schedule…
Happy 10th birthday. How have things changed for you since the release of Kernkraft 400?
Instead of eating chewing gum for dinner I have pizza now. I also have five cars in my garage and my hair is always shiny.
That track was massively successful. Did that early success affect the way you approached making music?
Yes, I took more care afterwards not to make hits. When you have a song like that, people tend to talk about it a lot, and they forget that it’s old already.
You obviously embrace the past and future of music in equal measure. Do you think this is the key to making great dancefloor tracks?
I think the most important thing is that you feel what is right and wrong for yourself, or which way you want to go with a song. If you are indecisive, you are stuck. In my opinion you don´t even have to be musician to make music – you can as well be a decision maker with someone else as the operator. That’s not for me though.
Tell us a bit about the new album.
The whole production was done at Zombie Studios in Munich. The sound comes naturally, but there are many bits and pieces involved in creating a song. I want to give you a snapshot of what’s going on in my studio and how things develop in a zombie’s brain.
Do you have a favourite vintage synth?
I love vintage mixing desks, but if I have to choose a synth it would be the Sequential Prophet V.
How often do you DJ these days, and how close are your sets to your Zombie Nation production sound?
I play mostly live sets, but I still DJ sometimes. I play two shows a week, and if I play I play what I like. It´s a mix of styles from Chicago house to jacking electro tracks. That’s not exactly how I’d describe the Zombie sound, but the idea behind it is the same.
What can we expect from you after Zombielicious hits the shelves?
After the album, there are two remix 12”s coming out on Turbo. Duke Dumont, Proxy and A-Trak are already on board. I’m also going to be working on my live set over the next few months – I’m trying to sync it with video art. Beside that, I’ll be doing some more remixes and collabs, and maybe another project if I have time.
HAVE YOUR SAY