DJ Richard‘s vision of sound is coined by a darker approach to melodies and rhythms. Whilst his take on groove borrows the sex appeal of solid house music and contrasts it with heavier textures, the White Material co-founder combines a sense of ennui with a distorted DIY attitude, which has become his true signature move.
Recorded in New England during a harsh winter, DJ Richard’s latest ‘Path Of Ruin‘ EP on Dial features a sound that offers greater convenience for when it’s cold outside. The aptly-named opener, “Path of Ruin (Pain Mix)”, sets the tone straightaway: the track evolves around a meandering melody, grounded by thick steady drums. Like a slow stroll across a barren landscape, the track will have you going introvert as it discloses a lush landscape of emotions.
Around the middle of the track, the sound environment gets busier, veering off into further noise-friendly territories as the pressure rises and the bass moves heavier. The beauty of the track lies in both the melodic approach and its scarceness, echoes and textures playing the role of transmitter. On the flip, “Gargoyle” swerves onto a creepier path. Here we are exposed to louder distortions, as a synth melody dials its way through the track and slowly takes over while high frequencies scratch on the edge of what is pleasant.
The EP fades out with a study in drama. “Stygian Freeze” explores a more open-ended sound design, tranquil yet also grittier in essence. More of a sketch of a track, painted with trumpeting brushes and slow strokes, the wintery amble is coming to an end as we get back to our cozy home again. And as for every successful journey, we gained new perspectives. In this case not through external stimulations, but impressions from deep down our inner-selves, with DJ Richard convincingly meditating on winter and its inherent melancholia. His handwriting is apparent, but never loses its verve – no matter how harsh the weather is outside.
Path Of Ruin EP is out now. Order a vinyl copy from Kompakt.
A1. Path of Ruin (Pain Mix)
B2. Stygian Freeze