Artist: The Acid
Record Label: Mute Records/Infectious
Nothingness and minimalism are the cornerstones to ‘Liminal’, the debut LP by boundary-straddling-trans-continental super group (of sorts), The Acid. This elusive digital wizardry is brought to you by the collective visions of vocalist Ry X, producer Steve Nalepa and world conquering DJ Adam Freeland. Right from the off, opening whisper ‘Animal’ has a ‘barely there quality’ as if the track is so intangible it’s like the faint beats and wafting sonics are figments of your imagination. Vocalist, Ry X has a voice forged from vapour, once his lyrics drift from his mouth they merely evaporate into a vacuum but leave an indelible impact.
The Acid invoke a dream collaboration between Miike Snow, Bon Iver and Radiohead, with the latter at their most isolated and Kid A-like. But such comparisons are not to detract from ‘Liminal’s captivating beauty, albeit in the most sinister ways.
Through the album’s sparseness, ‘Liminal’ casts a long dark shadow, in essence The Acid project themselves as nocturnal creatures, beings that are impervious to light. There’s something altogether bracing but quite unsettling in how brittle instrumentation – largely electronic but with flecked organic flourishes – and X’s murmured vocal merge to grasp your attention with subtlety being a key agenda point. ‘Veda’ carries on from ‘Animal’s lead but with added electronic nuances that add the tiniest of streetlight flickers to the otherwise noir backing. These dark tendencies come to a head on the menacing ‘Creeper’; heartbeat stabs and indistinct synth moans engulf X who wants to “love you like a creeper knows” whilst “I wanna break you with a Molotov”. Urgent drum pad pulses buoy abrupt clipped vocal samples before an eerie synth fug puts a malevolent full stop on this voyeuristic number. ‘Liminal’ patiently gathers pace, slowly swelling with volume as if steadily collecting further facets as it shifts through the night. ‘Basic Instinct’ is where The Acid ignite the Molotov in a slow burning, crackled acoustic-cum-electronic slice of starkness that briefly breaks away from ‘Liminal’s minimalism but the album’s bracing aesthetic doesn’t falter once the volume levels peak above a hum.
In a world of splinter genre’s and made up pigeonholes for music, it’s again a challenging endeavour to label The Acid’s first outing. It’s post everything, punk, rock, dubstep and all the other stupid bedroom producer genres like nightbus, witchhouse and whatever else was knocking around 18 months ago. ‘Liminal’ on the other hand has the quality and appeal to transcend fads and quasi-cataloguing.
Word and Thoughts of Adam Williams