Words by Steve Burnside
It seems you can’t take a step anywhere in the world of laid-back, minimal electronic music these days without tripping over another Ry X collaboration. The Australian singer (the voice behind 2013’s Berlin) fronts The Acid, who dropped their debut album Liminal last year, a blend of Ry’s vocals and guitar with the lush production and minimal beats of Adam Freeland and Steve Nalepa.
Last weekend the singer’s other outfit, Howling, released Signs, the lead single off their upcoming debut album Sacred Ground.
Howling is a collaboration between Ry X and Berlin based producer Frank Wiedemann, again melding the soft guitar and vocals of Ry’s solo work with Wiedemann’s minimal house sensibilities. The duo first worked together on a pair of EPs back in 2012, and last year they released a haunting cover of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit (Daniel Johns, this is how it’s done.)
Signs is a perfect showcase of each collaborators’ strengths; Ry’s vocals are front and centre for the first half of the track, accompanied by only piano and guitar, until the beats kick in halfway through, followed by subdued bass and vocal processing. Even with the additional layers, the minimal electronics don’t detract from the simplicity of the vocals and piano, which somehow manage to stay both intimate and distant at the same time. This atmosphere definitely works for the duo, and as only the first track off the album, it will be interesting to see where Howling evolve their sound from here.
The single was released alongside a video clip directed by Ry X:
Sacred Ground will be released through Monkeytown and Counter Records on May 4. Check out their website for more details.
Stole The Night