Rites Wild: Ways Of Being
- The Rites Wild universe is a deceptively simple yet strangely mystical one. Listening to it is a subconscious trip into the familiar unknown, filled with the promise of cosmic truths and a renewed sense of self. A solo project of prolific Melbourne based musician Stacey Wilson, Rites Wilds 'Ways Of Being' is a challenging listen at first, a seemingly impenetrable electronic fortress. Everything is drenched in reverb and delay, no sound escapes a heavily industrialised treatment. Tempos are slow moving, with no need or rush to be anywhere but in some kind of otherworldly present. Vocals are sparse and appear without fanfare in the distant background. Drum machines and synthesizers ricochet off each other in a hazy blur. 'Ill Health' is an early highlight, opening with a low drone of pure doom before giving way to a truly affecting melody. 'Seasonal Shine' features a lurching beat overlaid with hypnotic atmospherics. This is music best listened to late at night through headphones. Defiant loners everywhere can unite over this record as it perfectly encapsulates the firm yet costly independence that comes with the territory.
Rites Wild create powerful moods and imagery - walking alone through a dark mechanical forest, or travelling through the vast emptiness of space in a ship filled with nitrous oxide instead of oxygen to a final destination of nowhere. Ways Of Being is a lonely journey that revels in its own alienation. This is dance music for the introverted, comforting only to those who know how to be alone. Gaining strength from personal solitude is a message felt at the albums core. It is a subtle yet heavy concept that shows the intelligence of the creator. There is thought behind everything on this album, no sound feels accidental or improvised. These are tightly written minimalist compositions that although sound detached and distant, feel achingly personal and direct. 'Ways Of Being' is a powerful and unique experience that stands out as one of the best examples of modern musical art to have come out of Australia this year.
- Matt Kennedy