In Focus: Sibilant – Screecher Creature

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In the mid-nineties, the legendary Mazzo nightclub in Amsterdam formed several record labels to showcase a diverse array of electronic music styles heard within their walls. Founded in 1995, the M-Track imprint was chartered to release trance and techno—most of which was written by local Dutch producers like Synchro (Jeroen van Garling), Cwithe (Jens Waldebäck and Anthony Koppenaal). Shortly after the formation of the label, Mazzo resident DJ Lucas released a CD mix entitled The Gathering Volume One. This marks the debut of Lorenzo Zoeter, the influential producer behind Sibilant, his solo project, and Metal Spark, a project formed alongside Lucas Mees (DJ Lucas) and Patrice Van Den Berg (Syrinx). Zoeter’s appearance on the scene coincides with a noticeable increase in the complexity and sophistication of the nascent Dutch “break-trance” movement, which arguably peaked with the release of Metal Spark’s Corrosive on Blue Room Released in 1998.

The origins of this sound can be traced back to the release of Sibilant’s Screecher Creature in 1996. Originally released on a vinyl single on Symbiosis Records, and later included as part of a compilation simply entitled Funk in 1997, Screecher Creature is the finest early example of Zoeter’s futuristic “cyberdelic” style. It begins with the otherworldly resonance of a synthesized cyborg voice, firmly establishing a sense of the alien that pervades much of his work. Intricate breakbeat rhythms soon flow like liquid chrome beneath the jagged movement of tortured metallic leads and shrieking industrial noises. The effect is one of dystopian dread punctuated with devious mirth. In this sense, Screecher Creature is completely at odds with the “shanti vibes” and positive themes that dominated trance in 1996.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rUM5_4bbu0

Zoeter disappeared from the trance scene by 1999 and has not been heard from since. Perhaps as a result of such a long absence, his impact on the development of psychedelic trance is seldom recognized. Nevertheless, Lorenzo’s productions as Sibilant and Metal Spark remain highly revered among those who appreciate the short-lived psychedelic breakbeat movement of the 1990s.

Photo by Joe Green via Unsplash.