ZAK-008: John Barera & Friends-Goals EP (January 2017)



Here at Zakim we’ve hit the ground running in 2017 with the new website. To keep things moving even further I’d also like to announce our first release of the year: John Barera & Friends Goals EP.

If you’ve been part of Boston’s underground dance scene for the past several years you likely know who John is; this is his third release with us. He’s personally one of my favorite Boston producers and an unstoppable force in the studio with his ability to play multiple instruments and his highly efficient workflow. He brings more fresh faces to the table as co-collaborators on each of these pieces.


The opening title track pulls no punches with its unapologetic, unquantized techno sound. It’s a treat to have Volvox as a guest on this one; as a member of Discwoman she’s been gaining serious ground over the past year with prolific features from the likes of Boiler Room and Resident Advisor to add to her resume.

“The Cycle of Life” heads into melodic territory and just like Barera’s other two EP’s on Zakim, features Boston’s own Baltimoroder. I quietly premiered this track in my Hometown II mix from late 2015; I’m glad it finally gets to see the vinyl treatment I believe it deserves.

Side two showcases two additional artists from New York: Max McFerren and Chung. Dialing up the swing quite heftily, McFerren and Barera opt to lean toward the groovy side of the spectrum on “Mercy”. The trance-inducing lead synth of “The Mission” by Chung and Barera relies on a simple saw wave that dances between an arpeggio and a live solo. Both of these cuts highlight techno’s utilitarian ethics of working with just a few simple elements but stretching them as far as possible to make interesting, full-blown tracks with.


Goals is a vinyl-only release; 100 copies are available for purchase right now on the Zakim Bandcamp page. It’s pressed on 150g heavyweight vinyl, has full label artwork and comes in three different color variants: transluscent marbeled green, transluscent marbeled violet/red or opaque greyscale. You can pick which you prefer when checking out on Bandcamp.

I had to sit on these tracks for a little while due to funds being tied up in buying my house last year, but I’m pumped they’re finally being released into the wild. While Barera has since moved to New York, Zakim is also no longer a label I’d like to limit to just Boston artists either. There’s too much good music out there to restrict things to just one city!

A1) John Barera & Volvox: Goals
A2) John Barera & Baltimoroder: The Cycle of Life
B1) John Barera & Max McFerren: Mercy
B2) John Barera & Chung: The Mission


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