Bézier’s productions walk the line between soft and hard, emotive and gritty. From their early interest in braindance and IDM, Bézier’s influences are wide-ranging, resulting in music that is as carefree as it is relentless.
California-bred Robert Yang (they/he), also known as Bézier, is an American DJ and producer. While best known for being one of the earliest members of the queer San Francisco musical collective Honey Soundsystem, Yang also produces under multiple aliases and heads three blooming labels, Bodyzone, m-i-v (short for mémoire involontaire), and his most recent endeavor, Piece of Work. Bézier cut his teeth in the San Francisco scene for a decade, and now toggles between Berlin and SF, where he continues to expand his sound and vision into a cohesive yet dynamic mosaic.
Yang found the world of electronic music in their early years by way of experimental staples like Plaid, Squarepusher, and Autechre. It was during their time studying at UC Irvine in the late 90’s that Yang began to deepen into their musical identity, first by discovering Autechre’s LP5 album in a Tower Records in Orange County. So powerful was Autechre’s influence that Yang began to incorporate electronic music into his formal and informal study. Through a series of synchronistic alignments, Yang enrolled in computer music production at UC Irvine, further igniting their burgeoning devotion to electronic music. The years that followed were marked by migration up the California coast, spawning an era of pivotal connection and collaboration that cemented Yang’s identity as a DJ and producer.
After moving to San Francisco in 2005, Yang met scene cornerstones Josh Cheon and Jacob Sperber, founders of Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem, respectively. Shared affinities would lead Yang towards affiliation with the Honey Soundsystem crew, resulting in a prosperous period of musical growth as Bézier. A 2010 compilation called Brotherhood, organized by Jacob Sperber, marked Bézier’s official debut as a producer. However, Yang intentionally kept his productions close to his chest until the compilation’s arrival. His Italo-inspired track “Serengeti Drive” followed suit, becoming a slow burner that imprinted itself upon listeners. Since that initial, humble release, he’s released on multiple labels including HNYTRX, Dark Entries, Jacktone, Break Up, Cin Cin and others. Ultimately, Yang’s Bay Area roots propelled him towards life as a touring DJ and live performer. Equipped with an array of analog equipment, Bezier has toured in cities across Asia, Europe and the U.S.
Bézier’s productions walk the line between soft and hard, emotive and gritty. From their early interest in braindance and IDM to their dance-forward proclivities as a HNY DJ, Bézier’s influences are wide-ranging, resulting in music that is as carefree as it is relentless. A master of synth work, Bézier employs a range of analog synthesizers to create highly textured tracks that recall a retro-futuristic soundscape. The atmosphere of these releases, often cinematic, bring to mind motorbikes zipping through alleyways or neon sunsets dripping with a kind of dystopian euphoria. Though often pop-infused and Italo-leaning, Bézier’s productions also wander the darker spaces of EBM and techno. From the melodic fractals of their EP Primes, to the more experimental homage to their ancestry and family lineage, 府城 (Fǔchéng), Bezier is a seasoned artist who has a strong grasp on their sound, while retaining a fluid identity.
Yang recently stretched his musical vision by following an inclination to debut his own labels. Following the creation of his label and artist moniker Bodyzone, named after a gay bathhouse in Detroit (thereby paying homage to the midwest sound of the late 80s / early 90s), Yang also announced additional musical appendages. His newly-minted label m-i-v (short for mémoire involontaire) housed Thru-Out, a jacking, dance-floor ready collaboration with Vin Sol. As of 2021, Yang took on another alias 羅伯特 (pinyin: Luōbótè, transliterates to Robert) under a newly-conceived label, Piece of Work. His first album on the label, Heirloom, slated for January 2021, is a slight departure for Yang, drawing upon influences ranging from Appalachian Banjo to midwest techno. In addition to his original works, Yang has also remixed iconic artists like Psychic TV and gay punk rocker Smokey on Chapter Records. The coming years see Yang fast-tracking along the musical highways and intersections of his multifaceted sonic identity, while continuing to evolve as an artist.
Words: Taylor Bratches
̸Bézier – 府城 EP (Honey Soundsystem Records 2019)
Various – Nothing Matters When We're Dancing Vol.10 - Part 3: The Cosmic Hole (CockTail d'Amore Music 2019)
Bézier – Parler Musique (Dark Entries Records 2018)
Bézier – Primes (Dark Entries Records 2017)
Bézier / Fort Romeau – Split EP (Cin Cin Records 2016)