After exploding onto the scene with an accidental hit, ‘Howling,’ the unexpected duo of Australian singer/producer/cult folk artist Ry X (of The Acid) and Berlin’s 4/4 innovator Frank Wiedemann (of Âme and Innervisions) are now on the heels of an equally surprising debut album, Sacred Ground. Set for release in 4th May 2015 as a collaboration between MODESELEKTOR’s Monkeytown Records and Ninja Tune imprint Counter Records, Howling’s lush LP unfolds as subtly and instinctively as their artistic process.
Often recorded on-the-fly between rehearsals and while on the road for their European tour, their acoustic/electronic compositions incorporate delicate instrumentation, warm strings and organs, driving analogue sounds, gentle field recordings, and of course Ry X’s unmistakable voice. Although there are distinct traces of both artists present throughout all 10 tracks, as a duo they’ve created a sound that veers away from anything expected. ‘Signs’ – the album’s first single – is a hypnotic capturing of their unique new sound, with Ry’s ethereal vocals floating through a divine minimalistic landscape.
Some words on the video:
“Dugan and I always set out to capture the emotional essence of imagery in connection to music. In this ‘Stole the Night’ video we wanted to hold an open conversation about a few things… one was the concept of being ‘tamed’ by our current society… that we are all inherently wild and of the earth but are kept into belonging by the structures of our imposed ‘world’. Concrete and cereal, K-Mart and aesthetic importance of self. What if some of us better suit the wild. The earth. Belong more there, than within walls.
And the second thing we explored was the fragility of human psyche. My sister is quite heavily ‘schizophrenic’ by medical world standards and has struggled, as has our family, with it for more than 15 years. Though I have reason of heart to believe ‘Mental Illness’ can change with our perceptions of it. It is shown in many indigenous cultures that when someone the western world might label as ‘mentally ill’ is instead supported by the community and given purpose and love, the ‘imbalances’ soften and there is connection to human spirit and heart. Holding the mind in a more stable place.
When a great meditation teacher I know was asked about mental illness he said (paraphrased from memory) “We are all mentally ill. We can only see the degrees of how much we are by how much we hurt one another”. So the video touches on a lot… but perhaps more than it needs to tell the exact story by narrative, it is the emotion of the struggle of what frees us, and what keeps us grounded. Of how relationship can serve and hinder. Of how our journey is not only of the realm in which we spend most of our time… in shopping malls and work places, but that also of nature, and even more so, that of the heart and mind.“
Howling is the collaborative project of Berlin producer Frank Wiedemann (of Âme fame) and Australian LA-based folk singer Ry X (of electro trio The Acid). Their great new single “Stole The Night” is out now; taken from the duo’s upcoming debut album “Sacred Ground”, which will drop on May 4th through Modeselektor’s Monkeytown and Ninja Tune’s sub-label Counter Records. Pre-order the album here.
“It’s hard to gauge an influence… You might not presume Depeche Mode had an impact on your life, but you find yourself playing a new wave bass line in a back cabin in California and you’re digging it. Soon after I’m on tour with Frank, and we build around it. It soon takes shape… Nothing on purpose, more for the sake of creation… Seems that’s how it always begins…”
Sweden’s Sailor & I‘s “Turn Around” EP is one that’s been in the works for some time and its accompanying remix is one of the most anticipated tracks of 2014. If you’ve been to see the likes of Dixon, Mano Le Tough, Solomun, Maceo Plex or Tale Of Us recently then you will have heard it, loved it, and wanted it.
The mesmerising Âme remix has been gliding its way round sound systems across the globe since the start of the year and it’s no surprise as to why. The perfect end of set track, it enchants its way through eight minutes of euphoric vocals, grand synths, astounding builds and simply gorgeous drops. You can listen to it for the first time in full below, via mixmag.
Sailor & I’s “Turn Around” will drop on June 30th 2014 via Life And Death. Pre-order your copy here.