REZZ casts a ‘Certain Kind of Magic’ on her second studio album, solidifying her dominance within the electronic music space
REZZ’s first EP, Insurrection, was signed by Skrillex’s NEST HQ imprint in 2015. Her gritty highs atop bit crushed, dynamic synth modulation, fine-tuned percussion, and melodically lost verses were a unique use of 100 BPM electronic bass music.
Her next two EPs, The Silence is Deafening and Something Wrong Here, both released in 2016, were sanctioned by deadmau5’ mau5trap label. “Edge” — her most popular song on Spotify and a Cult of REZZ favorite — came from here. “Purple Gusher,” “Selector,” and “Melancholy” are also fan favorites. Simplicity is everything to the artist so in-tune with herself, as the authenticity in her artistry is what made her so relatable to and reachable for many.
REZZ released her first album in 2017, Mass Manipulation, which rounded her brand as EDM’s hypnotist. With soothing bass in “Relax,” confident bass in “Diluted Brains,” and brushing synths in “DRUGS!,” REZZ was creating alternative emotions that electronic music listeners physically felt.
Now, REZZ released her second studio album, Certain Kind of Magic, containing five unreleased tracks on mau5trap. The three already in existence were “Witching Hour,” “H E X” with 1788-L, and “Flying Octopus.”
Listening to the album in full, REZZ’s growth in sound is expectedly wider and deeper. “Witching Hour” is the beginning of the journey, lost in time and space. The listener is immediately hit with enormous kicks atop bass with static high ends that sound like a witch casting a spell with her twirling wand on the synth fills.
“H E X” sounds a bit more confident at the beginning. After traversing through haunting woods for a while, the observing REZZbian gains assurance of life. 1788-L’s static rhetoric and hiccup melody combined with REZZ’s defying narrative and drums create a strong presence, almost like the listener is in an unstoppable spell or hex from the heavily electronic bass music heavyweights. Though, from the confidence at the beginning, preparedness was given.
“Flying Octopus” is a continued exploration through the magical storyline created by REZZ. Already in the midsts of the project, confidence ensues. Celestial bells call amongst an accompanying sub bass. The hook comes trudging along with conviction, the kind of conviction that lifts octopuses to space and then the beyond as demonstrated by her music video that premiered on Dancing Astronaut.
After exploring so much, the immersed sound-wanderer eventually contemplates their mortality. “Life & Death” with recently birthed artist, Deathpact, is the forth single off Certain Kind of Magic. Bloomed from a cryptic marketing campaign, Deathpact released their debut single, “Danger,” a couple weeks back; a deep bass space house track draped in obscure clad.
REZZ and Deathpact’s collaborative project, “Life & Death,” introduce a clout of uncertainty and doubt through the ticking clock sound representing a time limit of life and eventual death. Culminating into a rhythmic rendition with metallic high hats in place, life and death seem to coincide with each other. The beginning of the second verse sounds like an eerie interpretation of what the producers think death might sound like. Consistent drums with filtered synth and bass sound act as substitute percussion elements, culminating in quite the rhythmic sound exploration. This is a common theme of REZZ hooks.
Now that the listener is in space and has contemplated life and death, it’s time to get to work on the moon, leading into the fifth single, “Spider On The Moon.” A realistic spider graphic at her shows this summer resulted in an apology on behalf of space mom for the immense horror animation tactic. REZZ’s varied, clicking synths and grounded bass sounds like a giant spider on firm ground. It must be the moon in this scenario. The twinkling high-end ambiance prior to the hook lets the listener know the setting of this narrative: space.
“Teleportal” is the fifth single with Kotek, a signee off Gramatik’s Lowtemp label and collaborator on REZZ’s “Ascension” single off Mass Manipulation. After working on the moon for sometime, the protagonist probably gets into bigger science or magic projects like teleportation. Verses with a leading stringy synth melody act as an antsy anticipation towards an element where no being has gone before: teleportation. The hook precisely emotes the panic of a first-timer going through teleportation via bouts of unforeseen terror (the heavy bass) and unearthed emotions from unknown experiences on the fills. Warning: the section from 2:38 to 2:41 might change one’s or one’s heart’s perception of time through a time-hoping glitch series.
“The Crazy Ones” was produced with 13, a collaborator with REZZ on her single, “DRUGS!,” from Rezazadeh’s first album. Delayed vocal chops after being teleported are natural, as the verse puts listeners in a confused state leading up to sublime hysteria. While not as intense as teleporting, the next single maintains a state of willful loss. Playing with metallic synths for percussion and sub bass for pause, the rhythm seems unnatural and perhaps curious to the average listener. The hook contains a contrast between static and single synth melodies that sounds like an indecisive conversations between the interworking personalities of a deranged one.
“Toxin” is the only vocal track on the project, featuring emo rock vocals and production from Fytch. The ending of REZZ’s magical journey throughout the worlds of sound science and space exploration culminates into electronic rock music. From the percussion elements to the guitar sounding synth riffs, this is REZZ’s most acoustic sound on Certain Kind of Magic and maybe ever. Using real bass from the Berklee College of Music, Paris-born, Netherlands-raised multi-instrumentalist, Fythch’s determination for quality acoustics in electronic music is quite the ending for the mau5trap electronic producer with such a focus on quality sound design.
After casting a spell and taking listeners to the moon and back out the other side, is REZZ crossing genres into a more mainstream rock space? Rock crossed with bass music has been a discussion within bass music and old school metal heads alike. No matter the outcome, REZZ has solidified a lane for herself as an ambassador of EDM to the world. From wanting to make music people can bob heads too, Isabelle Rezazadeh has brought complex, percussion-focused computer-made rhythms a step forward with A Certain Kind of Magic through rhythm, sound, branding, and storytelling. REZZ is the epitome of artistry through and through, and maybe it takes a Certain Kind of Magic for other’s within her grasp to realize.