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Venezuelan producer, DJ, multi-instrumentalist, and composer Federico Ágreda began using the alias Zardonic for his drum'n'bass productions as a teenager in 2004. Accompanied by a distinctive white mask with eye slots and a dark, vertical dividing line, the moniker not only distinguished the project from his black metal aliases (Gorepriest, Sol Nocturno) but from related dark ambient and industrial noise projects such as Triangular Ascension and Intimus Universum, though his music blurs the distinctions between metal and heavy electronic dance music. After releasing a handful of albums, EPs, and singles beginning with the Subsonic Stigmata LP in 2004, Zardonic's popularity got a boost from an appearance on AK1200's 2007 album, Weapons of Tomorrow. In 2009, he had his own international dance hit with "Policia" featuring J. Messinian. The project's 2016 world tour reflected his expanded reach with stops in South America, North America, Europe, and Asia.
Ágreda began early experiments with recording around the age of five, using blank cassettes to record household sounds as well as radio shows with a small tape recorder. He was first exposed to the music of thrash metal band Pantera by his older brother while playing Duke Nukem 3D at the age of 13, and later said the juxtaposition had a major impact on him. Ágreda started writing music at 16, and soon founded Gorepriest as his first musical endeavor in 2001. His first recording as Zardonic, Subsonic Stigmata, arrived via VeNet Music Development in 2004. The album Red Phasin followed on the same label in 2005. The following year, he released the "Her Lust for Blood/Scourge" 12" on Death Brigade Records and the Quandam LP on Darkland Recordings before founding his own label, Zardonic Recordings.
In 2007, Zardonic found new fans abroad when his track "Moonlight Ceremony" was featured on American DJ AK1200's mixtape Weapons of Tomorrow. He followed it with a string of Zardonic releases in 2008, including the EPs Chaotic Serenity (Death to Music Productions) and Bloodforged (MindSaw Digital), the official untitled "Braindrainer/Reliquia/Acid Industries" (T-FREE), and the single "Halfbeaten/Nightcrawler" (Suicide Dub), as well as collaborative tracks with Identity and Malsum. His remix of Nine Inch Nails' "The Hand That Feeds" was also featured on the band's remix website. Zardonic Recordings issued the EP Those Who Know the Truth in 2009. That year, he also released "Policia," featuring J. Messinian, with the B-side "Fresh Meat" via Cymbalism Recordings. "Policia" became an international club hit and led to a European tour in 2010. Big Riddim Recordings also released his remix of AK1200's "Junior's Tune," and Zardonic followed up with the Lovecraft Machine EP on Zardonic Recordings and South of Human EP on Human Imprint Recordings, both in 2010.
The End of Days, an EP he made with Numbernin6, arrived via Human Imprint in 2011, the same year Culture Assault Records released Zardonic's El Sistema EP. Another collaboration with Numbernin6, the EP Bad Medicine, followed in 2012. That year also saw the Zardonic collaborative album Vulgar Display of Bass on Big Riddim. Its numerous guests included the likes of Omar Santana and Counterstrike. A year later, the label followed it with Far Beyond Bass (The Vulgar Remixes). Zardonic then signed with eOne, which issued the expansive Antihero LP in 2015. It included original productions, remixes, and instrumentals spanning multiple styles. In 2016, Ágreda embarked on a world tour with dates on four continents. That year, he also put out a series of remixes, including tracks originally by Sonic Syndicate, the Qemists, and Celldweller, to name a few. The latter two made featured appearances on Zardonic's 2018 LP, Become. ~ Marcy Donelson
- 22 Oct 1985
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