REZZ is decidedly darker on her first independent EP release, ‘Beyond The Senses’ [EP Review]
At this point, REZZ is someone who needs no introduction in the electronic music world. As a dark figure in the bass music world, the goggled magistrate has transformed her image to icon status. Coming from humble mau5trap beginnings, she’s gone onto to break the mainstream threshold with the likes of MTV, Billboard, and even the NBA singing her praises.
But it wasn’t always that way. Back in 2014, she was still an up-and-coming bedroom producer with a social following of only a few thousand fans. Those were the days of self-releases and NEST HQ features. It wasn’t until 2016 that she began gaining widespread notoriety with the seminal mau5trap release of her Something Wrong Here EP. Since then, REZZ has exploded into pervasive cult icon status, headlining every major festival in the world.
With three more releases on mau5trap, including The Silence Is Deafening EP and two widely acclaimed LPs, Mass Manipulation and Certain Kind of Magic, REZZ became the darling of the Toronto based imprint and Joel Zimmerman’s personal protegé. Her music brought an entirely new dimension to mau5trap as she began to amass a catalog of cult classics that fused experimental bass, glitch, electro, industrial, and dark ambient techno.
Now the time has come for REZZ to branch out from her mau5trap home for her first fully independent release on REZZ Music Inc. It’s a defining — albeit inevitable —moment in REZZ’s career as she now officially unleashes her much-anticipated six-track EP, Beyond The Senses. Since announcing the project earlier this year, the Canadian producer has unleashed three singles — “Dark Age,” “Falling,” and “Kiss of Death.” Today, July 24, she delivers three more tracks for the wide release of a project that takes on even darker directionality in REZZ’s sonic resumé — if that’s even possible.
Over the past year, REZZ’s sets have been becoming even darker and, dare we say, more demonic. With her celebrated Halloween release of Nightmare on Rezz Street, along with a decidedly more death metal approach she’s been taking in her live sets, REZZ has blossomed from her long known (and perhaps misplaced) personae as the “Dark Queen of Techno” to full-on cult leader and soul snatcher.
Beyond The Senses offers further evidence to that fact with tracks that speak to foreboding themes like loneliness, death, stress, and possession. She’s even taken the groundbreaking step of hosting a full EP release party in the VR world, following in the steps of marshmello and others who’ve begun to embrace EDM’s natural convergence with technology.
So, to trace REZZ’s decidedly ominous foray into bleak and desolate darkness, let’s break down the rest of the EP. First comes the EDDIE-assisted track, “Stress,” in which whispering vocals bombard the senses over a haunting mid-tempo landscape. Industrial chords, jaunting synths, and analog record scratching marks the terrain as low-end bass gradually takes over the body. The two producers comfortably ease listeners into a horrific world — all the while making them feel relaxed through hypnotic sing-songy vocal samples.
Next up is “Your Soul Will Never Be Released,” which comes as a happenstance collaboration with rising bass act Sayer. The track has been a staple of REZZ sets since January as she uses the tune to slip her live audience into a slow-moving hypnotic state. As the song slips deeper into gooey low-tempo madness, the two producers raise the heart rates of listeners by introducing rising glitchy synths layered over a horror film score. The result feels like the ticking time bomb of mass murderer coming for you in your sleep.
Lastly comes a fitting ballad that could also easily be a horror film theme song. At the same time, the track eases listeners nicely into embracing the darkness with comfort. “Lonely” enlists the soothing vocals of The Rigs as REZZ completes the journey of an EP that is rather invasive. It’s a sound that is completely new for REZZ, and yet has markers of all her signature elements, including pulsating chord progressions, bleak breaks, and hypnotic synths.
When all is said and done, what REZZ has done with her third studio short-form project is deliver a cohesive journey that furthers her sound deeper into darkness. Listeners are left with a bereft sense of euphoria and they’ve been entered into the strange and were released with a piece of their soul longing for more of REZZ’s unique and captivating sound design. At the end of the journey, Beyond The Senses does exactly what it sets out to do — that is, to venture listeners beyond sound, beyond sight, beyond the human senses, to become pure kinetic form energy.
REZZ is currently on the European leg of her Beyond The Senses tour, with US stops beginning in September with her sold-out Red Rocks stop. With support from Peekaboo and Black Gummy, many more dates have yet to be revealed. Tickets for remaining tour dates are on sale now.
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