Written By Nate Manuel
There exists a spectrum of an EDM performers skill: It begins with Play-Button and approaches the asymptote of Perfection. Of the DJ’s I have seen perform live, most fall within the middle: skill within one standard deviation from average, if you will. As with any skill, taking your craft to the next level will always require increased effort and often diminishing return; the closer you get to perfecting it, the more work you have to put towards it.
Many outside factors can contribute to how well a particular show turns out, but the driving force behind those very influences is the artist themselves. Vibes from a crowd don’t just happen- the artist creates them. This past year I had the distinct honor of attending two events boasting a diehard following hosted by artists who have broken into that upper tier of the spectrum: Nectarween, and Grizmas (Bassnectar and GRiZ, respectively). These events showed me what it means to go beyond being a performer and actually being an artist: the ability to read a crowd and adjust your set; having a quick memory and a good ear; flexibility, spontaneity, and variety in a set list.
This brings me to the up and coming artist of our discussion, Rezz. Her cult following while small, is growing rapidly as she tours the country on her “Something Wrong Here” tour, and will surely hit a growth spurt as she hits the 2017 festival circuit. Rezz has found an amazing mix of perfection and creativity, delivering minimalist productions that somehow feel bigger than they are. Her eerie, alien-like sound goes hand in hand with her out-of-this-world stage presence. Beyond the mesmerizing light-up goggles, it’s the way she hovers over her controls while arching her neck to the side and jutting her elbows out, that convince me of her conviction to her character.
When I recently saw Rezz perform in Ann Arbor, she did an excellent job of matching her own sounds with the samples in her set. Pulling out deep cuts from Zeds Dead, Bassnectar, and Deadmau5 proved to be crowd pleasers. Songs from “Something Wrong Here” were layered fluidly, like she was mixing melodies and effects from multiple tracks to give us a whole new take on it. The set was more industrial and slow than the previous time I saw her- still very danceable, but didn’t venture into Drum N Bass territory. Nearing the end of her set the lights on her infamous goggles stopped working, but she continued on to play on and even hit a few encore songs before the house lights were brought up.
And in one simple tweet she expressed what many of us are now thinking.
Really really looking forward to electric forest.
— Rezz (@OfficialRezz) February 26, 2017
Yes, us too Rezz. We all cannot wait to see what you have in store for us this festival season.