Jan Zert

Jan Zert

 Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia, DEU
BandAlternativeAvant-garde

Just listen and feel the pain.

Biography

Jan Žert is a musician, producer and singer, as well as the guitarist of the Cologne Noise pop, Shoegazing band Žert (Drums: Gunnar Floss, Guitar, Bass: Meinolf Schulte)

Career:

Jan Žert's debut, the EP The Original System Surfers, was produced in 1996 in the Woodhouse Studio in Hagen by Eroc, previously drummer for the Krautrock Band Grobschnitt and former Phillip Boa producer.
A song from this collaboration, The Millennium Starts Here, featured in Eroc's Best of collection Wolkenreisen; (Repertoire Records) in 1998.

This was followed up by a collaboration with Andi Toma of Mouse On Mars and the recording of Memento and The Captain Is Dead in the
St. Martin recording studio in Düsseldorf.

The English Independent Label Ochre Records (among others Echo And The Bunnymen's Will Sergeant, Experimental Audio Research) released The Captain Is Dead as part of an 8'' Vinyl Single Collection in 2000.

Jan Žert then produced the albums Vegetably Numb and Dynamo Kiez in his former helgopharm Studio in Berlin. These can now be found under the name The Dissoids, his experimental electronic music project. The song Wuppertal (Arbeitstitel) from the Dynamo Kiez album also appeared in the 2001 Collection Infrasonic Waves from Ochre Records.

Go and Jan Zert’s minimalistic, Steve Reich-like piano composition Glasshouse Jam were created in collaboration with the London Space Rock duo AMP (Karin Charff, Richard Walker). They appeared in 2002 on AMP’s album L'Amour Invisible from the English label Space Age Recordings which is chiefly concerned with the band Spacemen 3’s back catalog and the projects of Spacemen 3’s founder member Pete Kember (Sonic Boom, E.A.R., Spectrum).

Since he moved to Cologne in 2003 Jan Zert has produced the albums Animal Pharm., Cool Kids Can Wait (as The Dissoids) and Hollow (Part I). The song They Kiss Your Body Goodbye from the Animal Pharm. album was included in the collection Extracts From The Ether Vol.II from the Liverpool Independent Label Kool Tone Records in 2008.

Collaboration with film directors from the Academy Of Media Arts Cologne began in this period. Jan Žert composed a number of soundtracks, including those for Hamburg director Lars Henning’s films Oshima (2010) and Driving Élodie (2009).

The trio Žert (Czech for “joke“ / “jest“ ) was formed in 2010. They play both the Noise and Guitar-oriented Jan Žert songs, and also some Indietronic, IDM pieces from The Dissoids Project. In 2011 Žert produced the song Space Invaders with Wolfgang Proppe from the Cologne band Erdmöbel for the Jan Žert album We Failed. We Are Leaving (Hollow Part II).

The third part of the Hollow series, The Saddest, which also includes long versions of some film music, appeared under the project name Jan Žert And The Dissoid Arkestra.

Musical Style:

Jan Žert’s Debut as well as many later productions, is strongly influenced by the Shoegazing, Dream Pop Sound of the late 80s and early 90s. Swirling guitar noises and symphonic soundscapes, which sound like a sort of No Wave by Bombast- and Progressive Rock à la Pink Floyd or King Crimson, meet experimental, electronic sounds, beats and samples.

References: My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Mogwai, Godspeed You Black Emperor, The Notwist, Mouse On Mars, Aphex Twin, (later) Radiohead.

The live sound of the band Žert is reminiscent of post-Punk bands like The Chameleons or Joy Division. In quieter moments it is also evocative of the American slowcore band Low. The more ambient-oriented compositions, as well as a great deal of the film music, is clearly influenced by Steve Reich’s Minimal Music, by Brian Eno and Angelo Badalamenti’s Soundtracks.

Discography

Jan Žert And The Dissoid Arkestra: The Saddest
Jan Žert: We Failed. We Are Leaving
Jan Žert: Hollow
Jan Žert: Animal Pharm.

Soundtracks:

Oshima, film
Directed by: Lars Henning / Academy of Media Arts Cologne, (2011)

Driving Élodie, film
Directed by: Lars Henning / Academy of Media Arts Cologne, (2010)

Gorgons Koffer, audio play
Directed by: Ralf Kosmo / Medienküche, (2010)

Wo Gehts Zur Kultur?, documentary
Directed by: Gerd Stegemann, (2010)

Frisch Gehalten, film
Directed by: Yvonne Wellie / Academy of Media Arts Cologne, (2008)

Kai Und Kira , film
Directed by: Corinna Liedtke / Academy of Media Arts Cologne, (2008)

Die Jahrhunderthalle, documentary
Directed by: Gerd Stegemann, Alexander Kruse(2008)