Review: Rezzett – ‘Rezzett’ (The Trilogy Tapes)

Rezzett’s music sounds like someone took the blueprints for techno and ran them through a broken industrial shredder. The texture of their sound has always been its defining feature: a gritty, tactile, low-fidelity crunch that sounds as if every sample and synth has been passed through several old pieces of battered, defective equipment, ingrained with a kind of warped coarseness that’s reminiscent of an old VHS tape. The effect works, and it scans as a considered aesthetic choice, not a hasty adoption of the “lo-fi” gimmick that’s been the bandwagon hopped on by so many unimaginative producers desperately seeking a way to make their soulless Logic projects come to life.

Their first full-length, the self-titled Rezzett lasts a little too long. Their sound may be captivating, but its abrasive texture is best experienced in short, sharp bursts, not spread out over an entire 44 minutes. The first few tracks are typically mid-paced, disjointed techno that’s engagingly weird, but doesn’t stray far from previous work. Following this, ‘Yunus in Ekstasi’ signals a shift in direction, pairing a bit-crushed choir with distant, wavering synths to haunting effect. This stylistic detour continues for the remainder of the LP, leading through the dub-leaning head-nod of ‘Wet Bilge’ and the energetic but forgettable ‘Tarang’ to the final two tracks, which stand out as clear highlights. ‘Gremlinz’, a woozy, GameBoy-sampling take on eskibeat, is followed by album closer ‘Worst Ever Contender’ – a curious name for a cut that easily outdoes anything else on the album. Trading their usual grid-locked techno rhythms for gritty, potent jungle pays off, ending the record on a high note and harking back to earlier career standouts like ‘Zootie’ that imbue the Amen break with the duo’s signature burnt-out saturation.

Nothing on Rezzett stands up to earlier statements like ‘Doyce’ or ‘Yayla’, and it leaves you a little hungry for something more daring. Of course, the enigmatic duo aren’t the first or the last to approach dance-floor idioms through a warped, corroded lens, and on paper nothing they’re doing is strikingly innovative. What sets them apart is their specific variation on this particular sound – there’s a certain idiosyncratic, ear-pleasing quality to their grimy distortion that feels uniquely their own, and its one they’ve been developing since their first outing in 2013 on long-time label Trilogy Tapes. Though their sound is clearly based on distortion, in all its forms – their tracks are crafted from sonic materials that are degraded and defiled, stripped of some inherent normality – it’s not defined by an absence of fidelity but by the entirely new texture and feeling that this process of destruction creates. In their hands, synths, beats, and samples are reborn, unalterably transformed through distortion, overdrive, and untold effects processes. This renders every sound recognizably theirs, and makes for flagrantly original music that’s raw and full of feeling.

‘Rezzett’ is out now on The Trilogy Tapes.

Buy it here.

Words: Matt Mullen

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