This week we have a very special treat for you all! Our friends at Brooklyn based music brand ebb + flow have shared an amazing recorded set from Pink Mammoth’s Zach Walker. We also had the fortune of chatting with Zach about his career, his forthcoming show with ebb + flow titled the ‘The High Road’ this Saturday evening and much more. Have a listen to his mix and read along as he serves us up some delightfully deep cuts.
MR PUZL: Welcome Zach! We’d like to wish you a very happy early birthday! What have you got in store for our audience this week?
Zach Walker: Thank you Alex! We have an exciting event “The High Road” taking place this Saturday at a private space in Culver City. In addition, to celebrating my 30th solar return, I’m looking forward to showcasing our friends, ebb + flow, who have an incredible Brooklyn based community and collective of artists. One of them, also an LA favorite, Tara Brooks will be playing with us.
MP: You originally hail from a bit farther up north, Santa Cruz to be exact, but you call Newport Beach home now. When did you first move down to southern California and what has drawn you stay here? Do you go back to your hometown to play gigs at all? What kind of music scene do they have there?
ZW: I moved to Newport Beach in November of 2012 and from that first moment I arrived I have been enjoying the music scene and cultivating community here. I feel like I’ve created that community in number of big ways and that’s the main reason I stay.
I continue to play in San Francisco often and grew up going to many of the iconic venues there.
As far as Santa Cruz goes, bass music is much more prolific than underground house and techno. That being said, I have explored the idea of hosting a night up there and there’s a good chance it may happen in the near future.
MP: Outside of music what other passions and creative outputs do you have? What are some that you’d love to add to your mental vocabulary?
ZW: Outside of music, I have a strong meditation practice as a kundalini yogi and I enjoy martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specifically. I’m also passionate about problem solving which I satiate with the projects I work on as a software engineer at an aerospace company.
I’ve played string instruments since I was young. Recently, I have been practicing the handpan (or hang drum), which is the more harmonic side of percussion. Percussion is something I strive to add a lot more of to my repertoire.
MP: In your interview with MI4L, a few years back, you mentioned that you went to Burning Man for the first time when you were 16. What prompted you to go and more importantly was so profound and special about it that made you keep returning to it?
ZW: As a 16 year old, I was enrolled in high level math and programming courses at the local junior college in Santa Cruz. I heard about this electronic music and art mecca called Burning Man from a friend in one of my calculus classes. I was intrigued and wanted to see what it was all about. I bought tickets that summer and went for my first time in 2006.
That first year opened my mind to the creative possibility of being a human here on this planet. I committed to going every year thereafter and, 14 years later, it has easily become one of the most integral parts of who I am today.
MP: Pink Mammoth has been a staple in California as well as Burning Man for quite some time. How long have you been apart of the group and how did you first get involved?
ZW: We’re celebrating our 15 year anniversary this year as a collective – April 20th in LA! I first connected with the Pink Mammoth community my third burn, in 2008. Most of the original crew was based out of San Francisco at the time and I quickly become involved in producing fundraisers and actively supporting the community. I think I’ve been apart of it almost 11 years.
MP: For those who are not, maybe, as familiar with the brand how would you describe the group and its mission?
ZW: Pink Mammoth is a Burning Man centric community aimed at bringing people together and cultivating great experiences while also supporting musicians, artists, and philanthropic causes within the locals where we host events.
As of 2015, we organized Mammoth Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) to help us in furthering this mission.
MP: You have a few shows coming up this month including a very special one this Saturday evening with ebb + flow. How would you describe the vibe of these parties and what can attendees expect for this one in particular?
ZW: The High Road is a new event series that myself and Joshua Heath aka Lonely Boy founded to showcase up and coming artists and collectives from other cities. The first one came together on a whim, last October, after the sudden cancellation of a festival many of us were booked at.
I think the most important aspect of an event is not only the talent performing, but the community that surrounds it, and I’d like to continue to build that community cross cities and countries in new ways.
Ebb + flow are the hosts of legendary boat parties and events throughout New York and as dear friends as well, they were a perfect candidate to debut in LA for this event Saturday.
MP: When you are looking out at your audience during a set, what are some things you’re looking for that will help you navigate your track selection and overall vibe?
ZW: I feel into what to play more than anything. Senses definitely influence that no doubt but I cannot say I’m aware of all the specific cues that do. It much more intuitive for me. I allow myself to be an open channel for whatever comes through and it always unfolds beautifully when I do that.
MP: You’ve had the fortune to share the stage with some very special artists over the years. Who’s still on your wishlist?
ZW: Jonas Rathsman, Brian Cid, Sébastien Léger to name a couple.
MP: If you could DJ or even take the Pink Mammoth brand somewhere new in the world, where would it be and why?
ZW: There are two venues that I’d love to personally play at and also bring Pink Mammoth too. The first is Stereo Montreal and second, Warung Beach Club in Praia Brava, Brazil.
We’ve already been in discussion about dates in Europe for Pink Mammoth including the UK and Spain, which are not far out. Stay tuned!
MP: Ok here’s a tough question… what’s your favorite color?
Budakid – Rhizone
SuperLounge – Tides
Serkan Eles – Emotion
Kate Simko, Tevo Howard – Welcome to PolyRhythimic (Frankey & Sandrino Remix)
Rolbac – Lost (Collé Remix)
Pablo Fierro – Tel Aviv to Casablanca
Beckers & D’nox – Inside
Maribou State – Nervous Ticks (feat. Holly Walker) [DJ Tennis Remix]
M.E.M.O. – Lo Unico
Max Doblhoff – Mama Jo feat. Idd Aziz (Sobek Remix)
Bebetta – Raver 4 Life
Guy Gerber – What To Do