REZZ melds techno and bass music into something new with ‘Something Wrong Here’ [EP Review]
Isabelle Rezazadeh gives new meanings to the words “prodigious” and “prolific.” By her own account, the 21-year old producer started producing just shy of three years ago, in November 2013. In that time, the Canadian wunderkind has put forth three official EPs under the REZZ moniker, as well as a staggering selection of singular originals and remixes.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of REZZ’s rapid ascent is that her newest release, Something Wrong Here, marks her second EP for mau5trap, following January’s The Silence Is Deafening. There are surely legions of deadmau5-inspired producers who would kill for a shot at releasing two EPs on Joel Zimmerman’s label within three years of commencing their craft; REZZ is simply the only one with the work ethic, taste, and talent to pull off such a feat.
REZZ’s SoundCloud biography is as thorough as it is personal, and includes an extensive list of diverse production influences. It’s interesting that deadmau5 holds the number one spot on Rezazadeh’s list of influences, since the vast majority of her catalogue is, ostensibly, quite different than deadmau5’s music. REZZ’s stylistic deviation from deadmau5 is worth noting, primarily because she would have been unlikely to catch Zimmerman’s eye had her early releases been pale imitations of his own style; Hell hath no fury like a deadmau5 presented with music derivative of his own.
Since REZZ broached the public eye with the NEST-backed release of her Insurrection EP last summer, her music has perhaps most often been compared to Gesaffelstein‘s. This connection is unsurprising, as the macabre French producer holds the second spot on her roster of idols. However, the Gesaffelstein comparison becomes less apt (and more reductive) with each REZZ release. Indeed, Insurrection held undeniable similarities to the music of Mike Lévy. However, Rezazadeh’s propensity for rapid artistic evolution has entailed a stark stylistic deviation in the time which has elapsed between her first official EP, and her third.
The caustic, industrial techno of acts like Gesaffelstein and Alesia pervade Something Wrong Here, particularly in the EP’s second half. The quaking percussion, sinister transitions, and dissonant lead synths of tracks like “Cryptic” and “Voice In The Wall” are staunchly in line with REZZ’s typical categorizations. “Paranoid,” arguably the release’s strongest selection, is reminiscent of some of Panteros666‘s most virulent releases.
However, the EP steps far outside of techno’s boundaries. “Paranoid” itself is as similar to the style of The M Machine as it is to that of the aforementioned Club Cheval member. Variations of bass music are as pervasive as techno throughout the stylistic trajectory of Something Wrong Here. The relentless LFOs of “Selector” are acutely redolent of Rusko, while the symphonic melodies of “Melancholy” mirror facets of Bassnectar‘s mellifluous side.
Given the extensively diverse array of Rezazadeh’s influences, it would be exhaustive and dull to continue isolating comparisons between REZZ and more seasoned producers. What’s significant about Something Wrong Here isn’t how many artists Zimmerman’s star pupil channels over its course; Rather, it’s how remarkably well she captures the essences of her vastly diverse influences and fuses them into a style which is completely her own.
Something Wrong Here is raw. It’s primal. It’s auditory aggression. It’s the product of Rezazadeh’s three years of unrelenting hard work.
It’s almost unfathomable to consider where REZZ will be three years from now.