Following our interview with Carsten Jost in 2014, in which he revealed “DJ Richard will be releasing his first solo album on Dial sometime this fall“, Dial have finally announced the release of the White Material co-founder full-length ‘Grind’, scheduled for release on 4th September 2015. Below you can read the press release written by Bianca Hauser explaining the story behind the album.
Grind compiles 9 tracks: 8 of them produced last winter in Berlin, while a version of “Screes of Grey Craig”, the track at the record’s center, was produced in 2013 and appeared as the soundtrack to New York fashion label Eckhaus Latta’s S/S 2014 collection.
The record is strongly influenced by the idea of the ocean: its salt, isolation, and the specific natural phenomena surrounding it. After living in Berlin for two years and feeling vaguely lost in the continent of Europe, DJ Richard found himself drawn to the coastline of his home state Rhode Island. There, from a suspension bridge that crosses the bay, one looks down on Rose Island on one side of said bridge and Gould Island on the other. These two geographical marks of RI, US Navy bunkers and Torpedo loading facilities for submarines during World War 2, both transformed into bird sanctuaries now, lay in total disrepair: inaccessible, but central to the entire area.
On the cover of the record, their photograph represents DJ Richard’s interest in those instances where the border between civilization and the ocean becomes something more ambiguous than just a coastline.
More specifically, the seclusion and mystery the ocean carries within it is a central theme of the record. Ranging from Drone to Techno, and often settling somewhere in between, the gloomy, loopy tracks embody this idea as well as their titles reference it: the natural phenomenon of the Green Flash referenced on the record’s A3, as well as on “I-Mir” (which is a certain type of Green Flash) is an actual green flash that is visible very rarely, at an unobstructed horizon, right after sunset, for about a second. The rareness of this phenomenon, which has hardly been documented in all its different forms, sets a contrast to the repetitiveness of the sunset that prefaces it.
This daily event lends Grind its title: the sun being ground into oblivion by the millstone that is the ocean, with a repetitiveness that is also central to most electronic music. This violent perception of something traditionally considered rather romantic says as much about these most melodic, cinematic tracks by DJ Richard released to date as they do about the comfort that can be found in isolation and ambiguity, in romanticizing hopelessness. In its sensitivity and rigor, Grind is made to be listened to all the way through, but split into its separate parts makes for excellent dancefloor material, too.
1. No Balance
3. Waiting For The Green Flash
4. Savage Coast
5. Screes Of Gray Craig
9. Vampire Dub
Words by Bianca Hauser.