Around mid-day, Friday, April 26th, Rezinate began its familiar controlled chaos at the Boston mainstay venue The Middle East Night Club. Stacks of Battleaxes, Switchbacks, Cannons, and more were loaded into the building by the masterminds from Hennessey Sound Design, the Massachusetts-based company that works essentially as Rezinate’s exclusive partners at the Middle East. Through their long history with the venue, these teams have been able to perfectly adjust their sound set-up to the dimensions of the room. As a result, they consistently provide an expert-level audio experience, and this evening would be no different. This particular night, the collaborative powerhouse glitch-hop act K.L.O headlined in the historic venue’s basement.
The night kicked off with a familiar face, Tygris, a trained audio engineer, producer and instrumentalist. Fresh off a 5AM Trio performance the night prior in Philadelphia, Tygris took the early arriving crowd on a journey rooted in hip-hop, with a seamless flow that allowed the crowd to effortlessly follow the story he depicted through sound. He produces dramatic soundscapes coupled with voice manipulations that echo in the back of our minds and keep us bobbing our heads, especially when Rasp-5 hops on stage and dishes us some fresh lyrics for the brain.
Next, the Street Ritual label boss took the stage and held the room in a constant wobble. Fresh off a Rezinate guest mix that received a ton of fanfare just a few days prior, spacegeishA was noticeably excited to be rocking it. Her personal tune collection is 50 fathoms deep, boasting names from every corner of far space, and samples galore from many dimensions of the underground electronic scene. She leaves no stone unturned in the worlds of halftime, 140, and psy-bass, and she delivered a crushing set once again.
By 10:15, the room began to swell with people. The sound team had seamlessly transitioned into Vinja’s set, and the room really began to feel more alive. This set touched on just about every concept of free-form production techniques one can think of, keeping the crowd bouncing from beginning to end with flawless scratches, cuts and mixes. Vinja’s primary style draws glitch hop, old-school rap and break-beats, but he can flow in and out of opposing genres while maintaining an overarching sound. This evening it was a deep house track that earned the most enthusiastic response from the crowd, believe it or not.
Direct support came from the one and only Mickman. There was a long turning of the sta turn which that left the room perplexed but not uncomfortable, he came out guns blazing with a set bursting - as always - with new music. Dripping in complex, original trip-hop and heavy psychedelic beats, Mickman brought a vibe that kept the crowd gasping for air between drops and breakdowns.
Hailing all the way from the UK, fresh off of a headlining set at Tipper and Friends, K.L.O. got things moving quickly for their highly anticipated Boston debut. Osmetic and Lone Drum lit up the stage with a style that can be described as none other than “acid scratch”. These two have a flawless technique when in tandem and really represent what high caliber live mixing looks like. Osmetic aka Mike Wallis (one half of Crunch) is an OG in the game and he rinsed out a surplus of selectors. Ben Parker (Lone Drum) was on the turntable duties that evening, splaying and fraying cuts and samples across stereo space.These two know what they are doing, taking the crowd through cerebral warfare with their complex soundscapes, layering endless samples and loops upon one another. It’s no wonder everyone around the country is flocking to see what The Slugwife crew has to offer.
Rezinate was able to display the spectacular visuals of New England native David Schunemann aka Actualize on a crisp, brand new LED. Actualize is a becoming a force in his own right, steadily gaining traction as a respected VJ. You can catch him at Equinox Festival this summer among other shindigs. His smooth transitions and deep reservoir of art to select from created a great audio visual synchronization at the Middle East.
It’s nothing new for this New England team to showcase world-class talent while simultaneously big-upping local artists with supporting roles. They strive to curate a rather avant-garde experience whose fundamental focus is “cultivating deep, reverberating sound for a discerning audience,” and they hit their mark once again this evening. The atmosphere cultivated by Rezinate, Hennessey, the Middle East and all the fans on nights like these helps nurture a wholesome community based around freedom of expression and an appreciation for authentic performances.
FOLLOW the photographers: James Coletta