As a creator at the N.Y.C.-based party throwing machine Rinsed and co-founder of it's affiliated label, The Umbrella, Blacky II has had a lot of practice in the art of DJing. Unlike the traditional New York City club, Rinsed isn't about photo ops with celebrity elites, or sets dripping in remixes of top 40 songs in a room full of people dressed in stilettos. Nope, a Rinsed party gives people a place to dance (I mean really dance), to put down their phones, and to experience nightlife with others who share an open mind. The concepts are engaging and meticulously planned; I attended their Surveillance party in L.A. not too long ago, and hallways were shrouded in eerie red lighting, security cameras were on every wall, and they used personal Facebook photos of the party-goers to tie together the event in a contrast of mystery yet absolute lack of privacy.
Blacky II spoke on his involvement, saying that "Rinsed has given me invaluable insight as a creative and musician. Not just in the sense of what works or doesn't work on the dance-floor, but in terms of the theatrical and performative as well. From early on, our goal with these events has been to create the feeling that you were in an-other place, and figuring out how to get there with different sensory stimuli." That experience spills over into his work as a producer in his debut EP, titled Material Witness, which will be released in full on November 30th. "Similarly to the way we create our parties, I recorded Material Witness with a concept, a specific feeling, and built around that. The intention was never to simply make a club tune, but to elicit a specific response through a tool/modality that happened to be a club tune."
The third track on the project, "Morphic Resonance," is a song that is indicative of the new sonic direction embodied by Material Witness. It's a leap away from Blacky's previous bright and clean house tracks usually accompanied by crooning chopped vocals like on the incredibly catchy track "I Don't." The panning ethereal high-pitched synths in the opening of "Morphic Resonance" might lead you to believe this is the old Blacky, but the song progresses into something darker, with a minimalist beat and a spattering of harsh claps. Light has no value without darkness, and this debut EP delves into the visceral feeling evoked by that paradox. Catch Blacky II at the next Rinsed event:
10/27 @ Rinsed: Don't Sleep (Secret Location, Brooklyn)
12/1 @ Rinsed 7 Year Anniversary (Le Bain, NYC)
Material Witness EP Track List:
1. Point of Light
2. Optimized Alignment
3. Morphic Resonance
4. 3 6 9