Spencer Zahn is a bassist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. His first two albums People of the Dawn and When We Were Brand New showcase his ability to merge the chaotic wisdom of jazz improvisation with the warm pulse of electronica. These albums consist of songs that are thoughtful compositions and playful explorations of sound and melody.
Zahn moved to Brooklyn in 2006 and spent the following years playing jazz, electronic, pop, and improvised music in New York. He solidified himself as an in-demand collaborator, touring and record with artists across a wide musical spectrum over the last decade. For the past several years he has been focusing on his own compositions which bring together his collaborative inspirations and personal voice to create a distinctively unique sound.
People of the Dawn and When We Were Brand New see Zahn step away from the stage and into the studio with his own boundary pushing ideas. These records center around the bass as a sound and instrument of melodic expression. Using the bass as an anchor for spectral synth textures, Zahn weaves the acoustic and electronic together. Throughout his records there's a dialogue between experimental electronics and contemporary jazz motifs that feels like uncharted territory. The result is a strange new map that casts Zahn as both cartographer and explorer of the sound. Both albums were recorded in Brooklyn in collaboration with producer Dave Harrington, virtuoso guitarist and member of electronic duo, Darkside. Dawn and Brand New feature Zahn in conversation with Harrington’s electronic processing, manipulating acoustic instruments in real-time, the two longtime collaborators searching for, and creating, new forms for improvising. The results are two albums made in the spirit of a jazz with the tools of contemporary electronic music.
With new music on the way in 2020, Zahn continues to explore new sounds and ways of collaborating.