Kramer and Midas Wells were both born and raised in Chicago and originally met in collage years where they shared a dorm. They were part of a collective of friends who all had hip-hop in common, among them Serengeti of Anticon and Open Mike Eagle of Mello Music Group. It was in that dorm room that Midas and Kramer would become musical lab partners, experimenting with sound and working with a very limited capacity (4 second sampler and karaoke machine). Once college ended however, the collective went their own ways and pursued more individual paths, many still involved in music, but Kramer and Midas lost touch for a bit while both continued making music on their own. A few years ago, the duo serendipitously ran into each other at a friend’s gig in Chicago and mutual curiosity led to the seed for Tensei being planted. Soon after they decided to make music together again.
After spending some time honing their production chops, they developed a sublime synergy between the two. “We can speak with the music without much hassle,” explains Midas. They hail from the musical mecca of Chicago, so the two have a vast wealth of influence and history to inform their production. As a result, Tensei is not heavily reliant on samples. They both play musical parts themselves with both multiple real and digital instruments and from time to get session musicians to replay electronic parts live. Kramer used his mastery of the Japanese language and culture to choose the name Tensei, meaning ‘Heaven Star’. While the duo has released several instrumental projects in the past the focus shifted recently to create songs with a wide variety of vocalist they have collaborated with along the road to be released by Tokyo Dawn Records.