At the beginning of March 2020 Rinzen & Evan Casey had their second release on Parquet Recordings. After their successful debut single "Fractal" in December 2018 the two boys from California, L.A. are back with two impressive new tracks called "Expansion | Dynamis". Two deep & melodic dancefloor weapons, inventive & functional, exactly what we need! Since launching his project in 2017, Rinzen has become a rising figure in the global electronic scene, with releases on deadmau5’s iconic mau5trap imprint as well as underground labels like Yoshitoshi, Chapter 24 Records or Desert Hearts Black. With recent festival debuts at Ultra, EDC, and Desert Hearts, Rinzen’s otherworldly vision for his music is only just beginning to unfold. Known for his curation of dark, twisted and high energy journeys, Evan Casey has been an exciting part of the west coast festival and underground club scene. A long time member and resident DJ of the fast rising Desert Hearts family, he has played a major role in bringing the darker sounds to clubs and festivals in the US. Time to ask the two likable guys a few questions about their producer & DJ life in California, favourite studio gear, early influences and more. (March 2020)
How did you first get in touch with electronic music? Which artists or clubs were your early influences?
Rinzen: I fell in love with electronic music in my late teens. I was initially attracted to the melodic side of things with artists like Daft Punk, deadmau5 and Eric Prydz. After travelling to Europe and experiencing things like Sonar Festival however, I soon became enamored with house and techno and became deeply interested in the pursuit of music production.
Evan Casey: The most influential artists for me in the early days were Boys Noize, Richie Hawtin, Dubfire and the Life and Death label. In 2010 and on, the techno BN was making really opened me up to a new sound and energy that was unlike anything I was listening to at the time. It’s so high energy and all of his live shows were constantly raising the bar for me. This led me to find Richie and Ali (Dubfire) which was a more organic sound and I immediately shifted what I was playing and listening to. They both are pioneers of techno and have continued to shape the trajectory of my own career. Then around 2012 I discovered the Life and Death label, and their influence has driven me to the dark and melodic sounds I resonate with the most. All their artists from Mind Against, Tale of Us, Thugfucker, Tennis and beyond, brought a major evolution in my life and to this day they are definitely producers and DJs I look up to with massive respect.
You guys are living in Los Angeles and San Diego and producing your music in your studio in Venice beach. Sounds like a dream for many german & european people! How is the life as a DJ and producer of underground electronic music in California? Can you tell us something
about the music scene in hometowns? Where is your favorite spots to DJ?
Rinzen: Having a studio space in Venice is very much a dream. As producers, we spend so much of our time sitting in dark rooms, staring at computer screens. Having the ability to walk to the beach and take a break in the sun has become paramount for my creative routine. Beyond that, I think LA’s underground is in such a healthy place right now. We have great club events, giant outdoor shows, and a thriving warehouse scene -- all happening in tandem.
Evan Casey: Living in LA right now is amazing and there is so much happening within the underground scene and I’m very grateful to be surrounded by so much talent. The studio is walking distance from the beach, and that is something we are very fortunate to have. I always laugh because we hear so many artists in Europe want to come here, and so many of us want to go there, always wanting a new and heightened experience within the music cultures. In addition to the great club and warehouse scene, the festivals out here on the west coast are incredible. I’m very fortunate to be a long time member and resident of Desert Hearts, which is an amazing community and festival out here that I get to call family. It’s a very special thing that’s evolved over the years and I think a big reflection of the expanding love for this music and the people it brings together. I am very excited to travel to new places, but it’s a beautiful time to be in California.
Let’s talk about producing. How much time do you spend in your studio? Which DAW are you using and what would you say is the most essential piece of software/hardware used in your studio? Can you reveal us which instruments are responsible for the main sounds in your new singles “Expansion / Dynamis”?
Rinzen: I try to work on music every day if I can, whether from the Venice studio or just in headphones at home. I think cultivating consistency when producing is essential. Evan and I wrote these tracks in Ableton, primarily with the Moog Sub37 and Prophet 6. With all our tracks together, we’re focused on writing something that has a strong melodic hook, but expressed in a way that is dark, haunting, and emotional.
Evan Casey: The thing I love about my collaborations with Rinzen is Mike and I are extremely efficient when working together. On both “Fractal” (our single on Parquet) and this Expansion EP, we are able to write and complete tracks surprisingly quickly. We share many of the same influences musically and this sets us on a great path when starting a project. We both love to focus on synth work and sound design heavily, so once we find our groove we really explore the analog elements from both the Moog 37 and the Dave Smith Prophet. Both add massive layers to the emotion and driving forces in the things we create. Especially in Expansion, we really focused on the big melodies and came up with something very special to us.
What can we expect from Rinzen & Evan Casey in 2020?
Rinzen: Evan and I will definitely be writing more music together. We’re currently at work on a big remix that we’re quite excited about. Beyond that, for my solo material, I’ll be releasing a few more EPs this year and hopefully returning to Europe for some more shows over there!
Evan Casey: As for 2020, myself in partnership with Marbs (Co founder of Desert hearts) created our sub label, Desert Hearts Black. We wanted an outlet to focus on the heavier and darker music we love, and have set out to constantly release high quality music as well as take it on the road. Along with Rinzen, we’ve been touring a bit already with this project and there are more dates already ahead. After our big launch party in LA and debut Torus EP that hit #1, we have had an amazing and overwhelming response, and are very excited for all things ahead. Next up the three of us are taking DHB to San Francisco and Denver in March, followed by the Desert Hearts festival in April. Rinzen has a solo EP coming out on the label in early May, followed by an EP from Marbs and myself later in the month. This year is looking great!
Your 3 favourite Parquet Recordings tracks?