Artist Spotlight: Jay Zoney

Author : Lee Trotter
June 18, 2015

Artist Spotlight: Jay Zoney


Techno has always played an integral role in Canadian nightlife. From the pioneering days in Windsor to the thriving underground scenes in cities like Toronto and Montreal, there is an incredible pool of talent coming from Canada. While Toronto and Montreal are the more widely known nightlife destinations of the country, there is a thriving scene developing in Vancouver.

One of the current people at the forefront of the underground electronic music scene is Jay Zoney. Through his own label, Eternal Drive Records, Jay Zoney has released music from himself and friends such as Black Asteroid, Luis Flores, and Brendon Moeller. Adhering to a strict regiment of no-nonsense techno, Jay Zoney and EDR records play a major role in the development of the underground scene in Vancouver. Jay Zoney has recently recorded an exclusive mix for our Global Vibe Radio podcast, and we’ve had the chance to ask him about his current projects and the ethos of Eternal Drive Records.

Jay Zoney: Facebook | Soundcloud | Beatport
Eternal Drive Records: Facebook | Soundcloud | Beatport

Jay Zoney – Tracklisting 

  1. The Automatic Message & Measure Divide – Crawl Space [Brood Audio]
  2. Brian Sanhaji – Pending Errors [Blank Code]
  3. Reeko – Recharger [PoleGroup]
  4. Inigo Kennedy – Arcing [Token]
  5. Mark Broom & Gary Beck – Borders [Bek Audio]
  6. Secluded – Remember [Soma]
  7. Brian Sanhaji – Panic [Blank Code]
  8. Jay Zoney – Workhorse (Audio Injection Remix) [Eternal Drive Recordings – forthcoming]
  9. Virulent – Ancient Empire (The Automatic Message Remix) [From 0-1]
  10. Brian Sanhaji – Gyre [CLR]
  11. Subjected – Krupp 5 [Electric Deluxe]
  12. Owen Sands – Planar Shift [Ill Bomb Records]
  13. Drumcell – Departing Comfort (Planetary Assault Systems Remix) [CLR]
  14. David Meiser – Pressure
  15. Plane Shifter – Hammerhead (Obstruct Remix) [Eternal Drive Recordings – forthcoming]
  16. Neil Landstrumm – April Acid (Audio Injection Remix) [Sienna Obscure]
  17. Jay Zoney – Mr. ED [Eternal Drive Recordings – forthcoming]
  18. Meat Beat Manifesto – She’s Unreal [Interscope]

Tell us about your roots in electronic music and how it all started for you? At what point in your life did you realize that techno was the music you will live and breathe by?

I remember hearing bands like Pink Floyd, The Human League, and The Eurythmics back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, using synthesizers to create these amazing futuristic, robotic sounds, and instantly loved them. It was in the late 80’s and early 90’s that I started to buy early techno and acid house. I started collecting vinyl, mainly hip-hop, and got my hands on some hip-house, such as Simon Harris “Bass”.  Also, my pal DJ Zach played me The Prodigy “Experience” and I loved it. I would say though, that a few records really sealed the deal for me.

Another good friend of mine, Tyler Newton, had been mixing techno/house/trance for a while, and in 1993 he gave me a mix-tape that had some real classics on it such as, Transform – “Transformation”, Delta Lady – “Anything You Want” and Robert Armani – “Circus Bells (Hardfloor Remix)“. It was then that I jumped in with both feet, started to stack up the vinyl collection, and bought 2 Technic 1200 turntables and a Realistic 2 channel mixer. I’ve never looked back.

When most people think of underground electronic music in Canada, cities such as Montreal (Stereo) and Toronto (Footprint, Coda) often come to mind first. What can you personally tell us about Vancouver’s underground scene that seems to be often overshadowed by the two cities mentioned?

Well first off, both Toronto and Montreal are considerably larger than Vancouver. Toronto is more than twice the size of Vancouver, and Montreal is a third larger. This allows for more underground event goers. Montreal is well known for it’s rich music culture and nightlife, and seems to have the support of the city. I’ve lived in Vancouver my entire life, and it has never really had that “rich music culture” feel. Another challenge we face in Vancouver is lack of support from the city. Venues are continuously being shut down, and seem to be disappearing rapidly.

I’ve been around long enough to see about three waves of underground enthusiasts come and go. I remember back in the mid to late 90’s to what felt like a much more thriving “scene”. Currently, Vancouver’s underground community is relatively small, but seems to be growing. Techno has made a strong leap forward from even two or three years ago.

EDR Banner

Can you tell us a bit about your label, Eternal Drive, and what was the main purpose and goal behind launching this label? What can we expect in this coming year as far as releases go?

Eternal Drive is a focused collection of peak-time, dark and driving, techno. I launched the label to showcase many of my talented friends from the global techno community, and of course, as an avenue for me to release my own material as I see fit. With the help of Subspec Music Label Boss, JGarrett, EDR launched in March 2014 with a single of mine titled “Bulldozer”, which includes remixes by Black Asteroid, Freaky Chakra, and an alias of mine Plane Shifter. So far it was been a blast running EDR, and in a little over a year we’ve had 7 releases. It’s been a pleasure working with everyone so far. Coming up this year are some releases I’m very excited about. Look for originals and remixes by names such as: Brett Relish, Daya, Subjected, Obstruct, Audio Injection, Luis Flores, Uun, Monix, and of course myself.

Through your vast experience in the industry what do you think needs to happen consistently for Vancouver to have a more thriving underground electronic music culture and scene? And more importantly what is it going to take to grow and sustain it?

In a word, consistency. Consistently bringing new artists to town, showcasing the deep talent pool here in Vancouver, and exposing new people to how awesome this music is. With consistency though, support is also needed. Our underground community is quite small as aforementioned, and it’s important for local promoters to coordinate dates to ensure the crowds aren’t spread to thin. It’s not a perfect system, but overall I feel that this is being accomplished.

What do you have coming up next in the horizon as far as being a Producer, DJ, and Label Boss? 

I have some releases coming up that I’m really pumped about!

EDR009 as Plane Shifter – “Hammerhead”, with remixes by Subjected and Obstruct.
EDR011 as Jay Zoney – “Workhorse” with remixes by Audio Injection and Daya.

For DJ-ing I have some excellent local outdoor events that are going to be a blast. June 27th in Victoria, BC at an outdoor venue hosted by DJ Zach and Cataphonic. And August 15th here in Vancouver I’m part of a summer series called “Sunwave”, featuring a great list of Vancouver locals, and hosted by K.A.S.H. for the second year in a row.

For the label I’m amped for the next several releases that will take EDR though the rest of the year. I’m also working on Eternal Drive’s first vinyl release which is very exciting.