Composer/Producer Zachery Allan Starkey has released a new solo album, FEAR CITY, which features new collaborations with Bernard Sumner of New Order. FEAR CITY sees Starkey combining techno, electro, post-punk, synthwave, disco, and punk to create an urgent, panoramic soundtrack to contemporary New York City, capturing decadent Brooklyn nightlife, current economic collapse, the COVID-19 pandemic, ever increasing political/social chaos, and the opiate epidemic over 14 diverse and beautifully produced tracks. FEAR CITY follows the internationally acclaimed release of four ZAS singles, the ominous and prophetic “No Security”, symphonic techno odyssey “XXX”, anthemic club track “Force (ft. Bernard Sumner), and the darkly powerful “Fear City (ft. Bernard Sumner)”, all of which saw critics comparing Starkey’s new work to electronic music pioneers Giorgio Moroder and Patrick Cowley.
Taking the title from a 1970’s nickname for New York City, Starkey’s FEAR CITY is an album firmly about the present and looking towards an increasingly dystopian future. The depth of Starkey’s vision and songwriting for this project has resulted in new collaborations with Bernard Sumner, the leader of pioneering electronic band New Order, and founding member of Joy Division. Inspired by Starkey’s songwriting, Sumner provides synthesizers, guitars, drum programming, and production on two key Starkey songs, the anthemic club track “Force”, and the darkly powerful title track, “Fear City”.
Starkey’s “Force” and “Fear City” also mark the first brand new studio recordings from Sumner since the release of New Order’s 2015 LP, Music Complete. Starkey opened for New Order during the Music Complete tour.
On working with Zachery Allan Starkey, Bernard Sumner says:
“Like me, Zachery originates from a post industrial landscape of urban decay and forgotten people, which once thrived and brought great wealth to both our nations. In my case in Manchester, England, the favour has not been forgotten, and it is now a thriving City again.
In Zachery’s case, the industrial heartland of America still sleeps, waiting for the men who reaped the profits to remember the people they left behind.
Zachery’s passion for creating music led him to buy a one way train ticket to New York City, leaving behind the working class existence he grew up in Columbus, Ohio. He arrived in NYC with no job or connections. Ten years later, he’s ensconced and well known in the music and club scene in Brooklyn, which plays a large part in his life. Zachery independently releases his own records, and is dedicated to songwriting and club music in his own way.
I feel a kinship with Zachery. He’s at the start of his journey. I wish him luck, he deserves it. His music is his lifeline.”
On the FEAR CITY album, Starkey says:
“Fear will not tear us apart. I spent the past two years working on FEAR CITY. What started as an album about the intersection NYC nightlife and worsening economic situation for working people (especially those living in the margins and grey areas) has evolved into a real time document of urban fear and chaos in NYC, as we deal with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The album has continued to evolve right up to its release at the end of April 2020, hence the title of the final track, “Future Shock”. While I composed the music for the album myself and played all of the instruments, it’s been a great privilege to collaborate with Bernard Sumner of New Order on ‘Force’ and ‘Fear City’. In my music, I always seek to confront and deal with uncomfortable aspects of the present. I insist on moving forward and living life on my own terms. I refuse to give up. I hope FEAR CITY will encourage the listener to do the same, and to dance while doing so. Do you give up, or do you fight?”
FEAR CITY is released on Starkey’s own label, Deathtrip NYC, with artwork designed by PJ Ong of Inodoro™. FEAR CITY was composed, performed, and produced by Zachery Allan Starkey, engineered by Abe Seiferth, and mastered by Jon Chinn. FEAR CITY is released on April 30th, 2020, via Starkey’s own label, Deathtrip NYC, with artwork designed by PJ Ong of Inodoro™. Starkey also directed the music videos for FEAR CITY in collaboration with William Murray and Furusho von Puttkammer.