Three for all

The crowd at Georgia Tech’s student center was small and a little bit bored by the time Psyche Origami took the stage to open for Nappy Roots. A few people nodded their heads as the Atlanta-based trio got into the set, and then a few more folks, and then a few more ... . By the third or fourth song, Psyche O’s uptempo music, comedic call-and-response, and contagious enthusiasm had transformed the crowd into a sea of hands in the air.

The Georgia Tech show is a perfect illustration of Psyche Origami’s career. MC Wyzsztyk (pronounced wiz-stick) and DJs Danja and Synthesis have grown their fan base, one unsuspecting crowd at a time. “We’ve gone from being the low act on the totem pole ... to climbing up the ladder a little bit as things progressed to the point where hopefully cats are looking up to us a little bit,” Wyzsztyk says.

The group started about five years ago when Wyzsztyk asked Synthesis to contribute some scratching on music he was producing. Building on that initial collaboration, the duo began performing and independently released a single and an EP. When Synthesis couldn’t make a show, Danja filled in and performed well enough to merit a membership invitation. “You’re able to do a lot more with four hands than you are with two,” Wyzsztyk says of the group’s current makeup of one MC and two DJs. Synthesis adds, “The skill levels and the dynamics that [me and Danja] bring to the table are very different. That energy between us helps create something that’s greater than the sum of the parts.”

Signed to Atlanta-based Arc the Finger records in 2003, Psyche Origami released its first album, titled Is Ellipsis. The record has received positive reviews and set the stage for a three-week national tour beginning in November. From bottom of the bill to their own tour bus, the guys of Psyche O have already done better than most underground acts could hope. Just don’t expect them to rest on their laurels. “We’re never satisfied,” Danja says. “We’re going to work just as hard no matter what success we get.”