The story of Rinzen begins with a peculiar art installation.
Rinzen, whose real name is Michael Sundius, was visiting Barcelona’s Modern Art Museum when he stumbled upon Antoni Tàpies’ Rinzen, a striking piece that combines humble objects with pictorial and sculptural elements.
“Rinzen means ‘a moment of sudden awakening’ in Japanese,” Sundius tells EDM.com. “I’m half Japanese so the name and meaning really spoke to me.” Manifesting the artwork’s intention to spark meditation and inner vision, Sundius adopted Rinzen as the moniker for his musical alias, aiming to create “cinematic, cerebral, melodic house and techno.”
Music production wasn’t Sundius’ first foray into the world of electronic music though. He spent over five years at Dancing Astronaut as a senior editor and six years at Billboard as a freelance contributor, crafting features, coordinating premieres, interviewing artists, and reviewing events.
“I was a student in college falling in love with electronic music and music journalism was a way to be a part of the scene,” he shared. “I loved it so much, I wanted to write about these artists, go to shows, and just talk to artists. For me, music journalism was the avenue to do all that.”
Commenting on the trajectory of his musical career, Sundius said, “For a while, I was a full-time journalist making music on the side. Eventually, those two things flipped, and I became a full-time music producer who was writing on the side. I still have so much love and respect for the whole craft of music journalism.”
The flip didn’t happen overnight. To take his music to the next level, Sundius enrolled in a music production program at Icon Collective, the Los Angeles electronic music school famed for its industry-leading alumni like Jauz, NGHTMRE, and Slander.
“I was enjoying what I was doing but just had the sense that it wasn’t my highest calling. I knew I wanted to be on the other side, the one being interviewed, the one having release campaigns,“ Sundius explained. “I just decided to take a leap, go to Icon, give it my all, and see what happens.”
The leap paid off. It was Icon Collective alumni and mau5trap mainstay BlackGummy who helped Sundius sign his first single—and notably the first demo he ever shared—“Renegade” to mau5trap, deadmau5’ influential label revered for giving a start to now-famous artists like Skrillex and REZZ.
“I grew up as a big fan of deadmau5 and mau5trap has a history of breaking new artists,” Sundius said of his desire to sign with mau5trap. “Fortunately, I was friends with Blackgummy and his team. They were able to pass along a song of mine, mau5trap ended up signing it, and in the years that followed, I got to release a ton of music with them and embed myself in the label.”
Over the following years with mau5trap, Sundius signed three EPs plus a handful of singles and remixes, received BBC Radio 1 airplay, and performed opening sets on numerous occasions for deadmau5. “I’m still just super grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to release music with them,” he said.
Outside of mau5trap, Sundius has released tracks on several leading house and techno labels with strong communities and trailblazing sounds, …….