SA 10.08.24 | Theater | 02:30-03:30

Rex The Dog makes and performs music with analogue electronics and a self-built Modular Synthesiser. He carries this precious machinery around the world, bringing his idiosyncratic sounds to packed crowds at the best clubs, festivals and parties; from Berlin’s Panorama Bar to Barcelona’s Nitsa, Brooklyn’s Good Room, and beyond. The alias of musician and visual artist Jake Williams, Rex The Dog favours an analogue approach to everything, from his drawings (which are still made using pencil and paper) to his music.

Prior to creating Rex The Dog, Jake achieved notoriety as late 90s rave icon JX. His mega-hits, the bombastic vocal bangers ‘Son Of A Gun’ and ‘There’s Nothing I Won’t Do’ are some of the most celebrated of their genre, and propelled Jake from bedroom producer to pop star (including two appearances on legendary BBC show Top of the Pops).

In the early noughties, following a period of reflection, he discovered a burgeoning scene of analogue, 80s influenced electronica at London clubs such as 333 and the mythical Nag Nag Nag. Excited by these robotic sounds coupled with emotionally charged songs, Jake discovered a new sense of freedom in the music and started to explore and experiment with analogue sounds in his own music. The first two Rex The Dog 12”s - ‘Prototype’ and ‘Frequency’, which appeared on Kompakt in 2004, were the result.

Far from being a solely musical venture, Rex The Dog is a visual project. At the same time as launching the first Rex record, Jake created a hand drawn Rex character, which has been used ever since to create all accompanying artwork, videos, visuals (and fiercely coveted merch). Rex even became the first cartoon dog to be interviewed on BBC Radio 1, answering questions from Annie Mac (one bark for yes, two for no).

Rex has continued to release on Kompakt Records, as well as Kitsuné, Unknown To The Unknown and Southern Fried. Pre-pandemic releases included the acclaimed ‘Sicko’, ‘Teufelsberg’, and ‘Vortex’, earning him the support of his DJ colleagues including Tale of Us, Jennifer Cardini, Roman Flügel, Job Jobse, Maceo Plex and Kölsch. As well as his original material, Rex has released selected remixes for the likes of Depeche Mode, Fever Ray and Moby.

In 2023 Jake revealed another evolution of the Rex The Dog sound, one which marries the Rex project with his musical roots. ‘Change This Pain For Ecstasy’ saw the biggest vocal hook ever used on a Rex record. The concept for the track was born during the pandemic, when Jake launched a regular Twitch live stream ‘Synth Club’ - an online synth jam-session which attracted a dedicated community of analogue electronic music lovers. On each episode, Jake would start with a vocal sample, chop it up, fire up the synths and create something new. This process somehow brought out the pop elements from his JX past, and resulted in a fresh new direction which blends the DNA of JX with the classic Rex The Dog underground sound.In April 2023 ‘Change This Pain For Ecstasy’ was made Pete Tong’s Essential New Tune on his BBC Radio 1 show, and has been hammered everywhere all summer. It’s the first in a series of new releases to come from the enigmatic artist, who is also working on updated versions of his original JX hits, ready to unleash onto a new generation of ravers.