TOTW – HOWLING “Bind”
RY X and Frank Wiedemann reunite as Howling to present Colure, the sophomore full-length record from their joint musical enterprise. RY X, solo alternative artist and member of The Acid, and Frank, one half of Âme, bring fans a bigger, sharper follow-up to their debut, Sacred Ground. On Colure, the Berlin-based Wiedemann and Los Angeles-based RY X conjure transcendent creations out of their contrasting musical backgrounds and environments. The album is assuredly dualistic: electronic and acoustic sounds sit comfortably side-by-side, and big melodic hooks are laced into hypnotic club productions.
The duo marked their debut as Howling with the release of a self-titled track in 2012, a runaway viral success that they followed with the 2015 album Sacred Ground (which was praised by Mixmag, DJ Mag, Resident Advisor and more). Their lauded live show toured internationally, taking in slots at Melt! Festival, Electronic Beats Festival and an Innervisions showcase at the Royal Albert Hall.
On Colure they wanted to pick up where they’d left off with their last record and distill the core ingredients to improve on it. “We wanted people to know, ‘This is a Howling track,’” Wiedemann says. From the introspective, bass-driven ‘Bind’, to the delicate piano in ‘The Water’ (the duo’s spin on the track of the same title from RY X’s 2019 solo album, Unfurl), and the steady-built euphoria of ‘Phases’ (previously supported by XLR8R and Resident Advisor upon its 2017 single release), the minutely-realised songwriting and production across each track are what tie these records together to create a stunning body of work.
The album title gestures to their binary relationship. “Colure” refers to the point, in astronomy, where two celestial poles are aligned. Echoed in the album artwork, and in the production around their new live show, it mirrors the two contrasting poles which each of them occupies. “This project is a lot about how we come together”, Ry says. “It’s the idea”, concurs Wiedemann, “that we’re two different planets, in our own orbit, but which meet when we come together to make music.”
Each of the songs is made to be played live. Their intention was to create songs that could expand and evolve in a live setting, leaving them room to improvise and experiment. Accordingly, they crafted spare, sharply defined songs, rooted in an organic sound, and with analogue set-ups that could be replicated at their shows. Each of the tracks will be accompanied by an intricate visual art piece, developed by artist Benton C. Bainbridge (who’s previously worked with the Beastie Boys and TV On The Radio).
Above all, this is a record about bringing distinct musical spheres in contact with one another, embracing the fresh possibilities that can arise out of difference. A follow-up album that’s been long in the making, the long-gestated care and attention is discernible in every corner of the record, in the finely crafted details that populate each and every track.