Initially inspired by Minimalism and composers like Philip Glass Zans Harkov moved on to succumb to the allure of Techno, Trance, Hardstyle and Drum & Bass. He also had an affinity for the grit of analog sounds that he would pick up from from Synthwave artists such as Kravinsky, Perturbator, and Mitch Murder, among others. Recently Zans dropped his debut single, entitled “Planet 1095”. The concept of his artistic persona is that of a robot A.I. from the 80’s with a goal of taking over earth. “The track is a vision of what home world is like,” says Zans. Born out of this experiment, the new track embraces the space-age sonic palate with a synth-heavy production.
“Planet 1095” flips between energized, uplifting production and dark, ominous passages. The synths and subtle melodies have a clear 80’s influence, incorporating rumbling synthwave with ethereal motifs that create contrasting moods which somehow fit together perfectly.
The song brings Zans music out from hovering over the beauty of Earth and into a larger galaxy. A somber beauty reigns supreme underneath the throbbing synths and rolling percussion.
The tidal waves of a lived life in the vast universe can ebb and flow in response to the gravitational pull of the emotional experience forged by the nostalgia of home. Zans Harkov has figured out how to portray these feelings in a deeply nuanced way through his machines.
Through we’re talking about robot A.I., there’s an emotional resonance here; less about visceral thrills and more about a connection to the moment.
This track is busting at the seams with neo-futuristic attitude and retro wooziness. Giant swaths of synth are accompanied by thumping basslines and electronic drums, as Zans Harkov blends bombast with an equal amount of eerie beauty and thoughtful sonic introspection.
It’s amazing when a composer can walk the line between ambient and active, which Zans has done consistently here. He builds a tune that is by turn mechanized, organic, and cinematic.
The shimmering sounds and blasting beat makes you feel like you’ve fallen into the soundtrack to a sci-fi movie, which you kind of have, given that there’s an intricate narrative behind the Zans Harkov artistic story.
It seems like Zans has set himself the personal challenge of seeing how much narrative can possibly be conveyed through electronic music, without the aid of lyrics. And to be honest, the song fits neatly within the composer’s overarching conceptual aims.
Zans Harkov displays a complete mastery of his craft, building up his sounds in an analog synth language ample enough to express shifting moods and paint a series of sonic imagery dedicated to the song’s theme. If you close your eyes, you’re taken on a mysterious journey through a Blade Runner-styled mission and an Inception-styled Hans Zimmer epic.
“Planet 1095” is a very interesting take on the rise of modern cinematic synthwave, and although we’re amongst a flourish of artists popping up, Zans Harkov stands out above for now.