Producer/DJ Rinzen finally unveils his long-awaited debut concept album, ‘Bend to the Light’, via first single ‘Burnin’ feat. Shallou out now on Lane 8’s This Never Happened imprint.
The half-Japanese Los Angeles producer has become renowned for creating new worlds with his music - his cinematic style evident even in his more club focussed cuts released on This Never Happened, mau5trap, Bedrock, Desert Hearts… As a DJ, his extended sets at institutions like Stereo Montreal, Elsewhere Brooklyn and Sound LA are famed for enlisting loyal fans. He honed his innate gift for storytelling as a respected music journalist/editor before switching to DJing and production.
So why now for the album? ‘I love writing concept EPs with a glimpse into other worlds, so now with my album I wanted to make a bigger artistic statement, build a bigger story. In lockdown, freed from writing club tracks, I fell in love with making art that wasn’t tied to functionality. I took all my best tracks from just showing up at the studio for 2.5 years for this album.’
‘Burnin’ feat. Shallou: long-sustained chords of strings shimmer, as a breaksy, subtle beat carries a growling, almost ‘fretless’ bass synth melody building to Shallou’s otherworldly vocals, high almost to pitch-shift level, singing dreamy lyrics of love and obsession while now-pizzicato hammered strings evoke plangent echoes of a seemingly endless universe with dark limits just out of sight.
‘Bend to the Light’ album concept: self-proclaimed sci-fi uber-nerd Rinzen takes inspiration from a cyberpunk aesthetic, crafting his LP in a near-future high-tech world of interplanetary travel/civilisations, where all that glistens hides a dark shadow below… so ‘Bend to the Light’ explores connotations of bending to the universe (spiritual), bending to an authoritarian future government (dystopian), and making decisions that bend towards the light (idealistic), since this new world has the human emotional problems, joys and relationships we deal with now.
‘Show up every day, make your best material, then repeat,’ is how Rinzen creates his stories, and myriad fans show up to hear and dance to them.
There will be two more singles before the full LP drops April 5th.