Monday 14 May 2012


I love Ritualz. Naturally, I also love when Ritualz himself posts a tweet that advertises some of his new music before anybody else gets their hands on it. It's the way music is going. Or at least, it's the way music should be going. It's probably not heading exactly in that direction because there are still a lot of record labels out there, but there are people who are promoting this DIY ethic, artists like Ritualz, enough people that it is taking root just deep enough to warrant calling it a movement.

Maybe. Maybe it is. It's certainly moving and its definitely progressive, so why say otherwise? Well, say what you want, but that's what I've just written, so there. (Pictureplane did the same thing a while ago with his track, 'Post Physical'. It's not completely unfounded music blog tripe).

I love Ritualz. He is typically associated with the Witch House genre - or nonre (non-genre, come on) as many naysayers will tell you - which is a bone of contention for many people, mainly because: "it's been around for ages" or "it's basically just drone". Go on any YouTube video for Ritualz, Mater Suspiria Vision, oOoOO, White Ring, Modern Witch (least favourite) etc. etc. and you will see these pointless arguments and pretentious vox pops for yourself.

Anyway, to the music.

It's dark, impressive, atmospheric Ritualz stuff, though without the noisy, apocalyptic darkness that pervaded his previous work. He created the tracks for Outworld Music I as "A WAY TO EXPLORE NEW SOUNDS BEING 90S TRANCE, WORLD AND NEW AGE MUSIC THE MAIN INFLUENCES BEHIND THESE FIRST 4 TRACKS." Has he succeeded?

I wonder if he might have heard John Talabot's new album (which for me is a very good example of how house music can be amazing at the same time as it can be dark and odd). 'Atmosphere' is a kind of sunny rave when the lights have gone off, Ritualz employing some jungle-themed bongos and/or xylophones and scintillating, dappled synth to give it a rainforest-in-mourning kind of feel.

Second song, 'Spiritual' sounds like a twisted version of something you'd find on an Ibiza chill-out album. Whilst it's very Baleric in that sense, it's also Ritualz: expect the muffled screeches of synth and a many series of handclaps. This one is very trance indeed. Then we move underwater for third track, 'Resurfacing'. I didn't even look at the song title before I decided it was water-themed - always a good thing. Drum and Bass!?

Yes, Ritualz goes Drum and Bass. It's a fluid number that utilises the trademark Ritualz synth distortion, running all all the way through is this ambient sun of synth that is like some cosmic blanket, cut through with piercing beadlets of high pitched squeals. Short, sweet and packed full of energy.

'Melancholia' ends the EP with orchestral richness and cool breakbeat-esque drum track that sounds raw and real. It's a warm track, euphoric and trancey - the last third of this song, also, is pure house gold. I am far, far, far from disappointed in his 'break' from the regular sound. This marks a new step for Ritualz as a artist; his foray into something other than the darkness of the genre he's been associated with for a few years now; an exploration of other kinds of music that will only make his sound stronger and more accessible.

Because everyone should be listening to and appreciating an artist like Ritualz.

Outworld Music I is out TOMORROW, 15th May, on Ritualz Bandcamp

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Ritualz is on SoundCloud.
• And Ritualz is also on Twitter.
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