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Frank Wiedemann of Âme and Ry X of The Acid Release Their Debut Album as Howling

Stream the entirety of 'Sacred Ground,' a haunting and emotive exercise in dance-adjacence.

Just over two years ago, Ry X, known best now for his work with Mute-releasing trio The Acid, teamed with Frank Wiedemann of game-changing Innervisions act Âme on a one-off collaboration titled "Howling." The tune, a laid-back number with a soft, steady kick under caressing guitar licks and X's warbled croon, was a sleeper hit. The video has over a million plays on YouTube and the track even ended up on the closing credits of Taken 3 in a case of unexpected crossover success.


"It was the beginning and our first song. We kind of met through it," Wiedemann says of the track. "And if something is loved by many people in this world and you're enjoying creating together, of course you'd continue."

The duo assumed the moniker of their first song title and Howling was born. On May 4, their debut album Sacred Ground will be released in a collaboration between Modeselektor's Monkeytown Records and Ninja Tune imprint Counter Records.

From the opening notes of "Signs" to tracks like "Short Line" and "Forest," Sacred Ground is haunting, emotive, and gentle as it tugs you through seemingly disparate sonic landscapes. That the journey seems so effortless is the album's greatest triumph, and that easy sense of drift is carried through from the recording process. "When we create, it's a lot about flow," says Ry. "There's not too much of the intellectual mind getting in the way. We throw things out into the ethos and one usually helps to create what the other hears."

The record itself is as much of a hybrid as is the duo's origin story. Laden with electronic tones, the vocals on Sacred Ground allude in equal parts to Thom Yorke and Justin Vernon, while folk immediacy and spacious atmosphere swirl in the space between organically and electronically-woven songs.

The fact that everyone from Radiohead to Tale of Us could reasonably name-checked as sonic counterparts indicates the album's unique positioning, but more than anything else, it is a catalogue of a relationship developing through music. "Every song reminds me of a very moment when we recorded it, collected memories you could say," says Wiedemann. "For instance, we recorded part of it in a perfect studio in the middle of nowhere next to Bath in the UK. There was the widest mowed lawn I've ever seen in my life with the perfect tree right in the middle of it. We had one day to record in this place, whilst having fresh strawberries from the studio garden. 'Signs' is what we made at this peaceful place"

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