To anyone who has gone out in Toronto over the past couple of years, the names Meech and Rynecologist may be familiar ones. The two have recently joined forces under the moniker Ryme, and released their first EP, Bak Den on Boys Noize Records. It quickly climbed the Beatport charts, earning itself a spot in the Top 15 Techno Tracks list, as well as the prestige of being BNR Trax's third most successful EP release. In order to get to know the boys behind the music a little better, we had lunch at the Cherry St. Restaurant and talked about exorcisms and why white noise and laser effects are the worst. The pair even put together a mix, just for you guys, which you should listen to while you read this. Just a suggestion—a strong suggestion.
THUMP: So, first things first. How did you two meet? What was the scene like at the time?
Meech: We've known each other for almost ten years. We met at the first MSTRKRFT show in Toronto, the very first one. For us, that was like the launching point of electronic music as it is now, I guess EDM you could say. There were always great house parties, but never anything like this festival level you see nowadays…
Rynecologist: It was definitely more of a club scene, actually a really strong bar scene too, but not this festival trend.
M: And back then he was more into hip-hop and I was more into rock, so this was one of the first times that those two areas really started merging like this, bringing both groups together in a neutral space.
When did you decide to merge and become Ryme rather than playing and producing as Meech and Rynecologist together?
M: It did take us a while to finally figure out that we should create something together. I mean we've known each other for so long and it's always been Rynecologist and Meech, Rynecologist and Meech, we've thrown parties together—three series' actually. It came to the point where we got an email from Adam Gill at Embrace, and he was like listen I have an idea for you guys—you should be Ryme. And both of us were like 'fuck it, I really like that.'
R: I was thinking we should change the pronunciation of our name with each interview; keep everyone on their toes...
M: So Adam was the one to suggest it, and the EP was already confirmed with BNR Trax, so we just had to clear it with them if it was okay to change the name. So now I think we are focusing on developing that brand as it being the two of us, getting it going, producing music and then see where it takes us. We're making what we've always liked, what we've always been passionate about and we're not finding new stuff out there like it. For some reason, we got a lot of love for our track. I'm not going to lie, I was very surprised by about the amount of love we got for this EP, because it's DJ friendly, but you're not going to hear it at Digital Dreams, so the response really surprised me. And the radio play too, it got played out in Tokyo, in Berlin, in London... I was blown away.
Why were you so surprised at the reception it received? What about it was so surprising?
M: People we would never have expected to have been showing us love, and it's one thing when your friends show you support but it's another when it's people that you've never had connections with before. The cool thing is seeing who the track grabs, it's a bit of a shot in the dark. If you had told me that this track would be in the Top 100 Techno tracks on Beatport, or the Top 50, I would have been like hell no, it's not that type of track. I was very surprised, very happy and very surprised. And motivated.
R: I think what we're getting here is that Meech and I both have to have a bit more confidence in the strength of our productions as we move forward. Be a little less surprised all the time.
M: At the moment we're really just doing everything step by step, seeing how we evolve. We're focusing on getting the EP out and all the remixes sorted, then we really want to wait to see what comes to us as a result of that rather than rushing things.
Can you tell us a little bit about the remixes you've got lined up?
M: We're waiting on two remixes at the moment. And one of those actually came about as pure coincidence...
R: [_Laughs_] Not a coincidence, a mess up on the part of Boys Noize Records actually. See they tagged Meech as Sinden.
M: They took it down pretty quickly, there was a poster of us with me tagged as Sinden. It was gone but there are probably one or two techno nerds out there who were shaking their heads. So Sinden had never actually got a copy of the original EP, but because of all this we sent him one, and he loved it and jumped on board to do a remix. So it all worked out.
R: Hopefully he labels it Sinden's Mistake Remix.
Who made the video for "Bak Den"?
R: I went to school for film at Ryerson, which I didn't finish because my music was picking up, but I cut the video for it. I did Autoerotique's video too, Keith came up to me and asked me to cut this video of random YouTube clips of their performances for some track. But what I did is I took all my favorite scary, disturbing scenes from movies and I cut them into a piece. It was so crazy—there was a female vocalist originally in the track, and once her management saw the video they pulled her out of it… they were like we don't want this to portray her. I had to go back and remove her and put a dub version of her instead.
M: It is a pretty intense video
R: I guess. But after that, Jesse from MSTRKRFT saw the video, and he was on a single tour, and asked me to do his visuals. So I had to do an hour of these clips, picking the most messed up scenes I could find. But in the end there was a review saying that JFK's visuals are the best the writer had ever seen.
But Meech, I heard you were a fan of horror movies too, no?
M: I love, love, love exorcisms. No joke. I'll find the most messed up ones online, I'll be randomly watching them at like four in the morning... it's weird, I'm a little too into it, I'll admit…
R: One time we were in LA, we were coming back from a night of heavy drinking and I'm scared of the dark, sometimes... and this guy pops up, sitting between me and a friend with a grin on his face and said 'watch this guys,' then passes out like it was nothing. It wasn't nothing, it was messed up. And see I'm the one in the ground floor room with all floor-to-ceiling glass windows facing on to the street. So I get back into my bed, looking out my window, terrified, feeling like someone is watching me the entire time. I literally scared myself to sleep. I just suddenly passed out.
M: Listen, if you're with me long enough, an exorcism video is bound to pop up. It'll happen. At WMC I literally scared us into going out. We were telling ghost stories, and I played the beginning scene from this exorcism film, where this possessed grandmother or whoever is speaking in Latin. And right then, our sliding door, which had been open the whole evening without moving, a huge gust of wind blows in, and I was sitting next to the window on my bed, and the gust hit me, and I screamed so loud. Finally we were like 'fuck it let's go out, there's no way any of us are going to be sleeping, we're too scared.'
Here are a few of the videos that got shared over lunch, including a four year old dressed as Predator and the scariest two minutes of your life, courtesy of Ryncecologist: