I first heard about RY X on October 12, 2013 – 3 years after his self titled (then Ry Cuming) debut album was released on Jive Records, 1 year after his collaborative project, HOWLING, with Frank (Âme) Wiedemann saw its first release, and 1 year before The Acid, a three piece band with RY X as the front man, would release its debut LP. At the time he was just an enigma, shrouded in layers of cloth and surrounded by the Greek Theater stage curtains, closed tightly in anticipation for Above And Beyond’s acoustic run in Los Angeles. RY X was the opener, a position he had found himself in before, as Ry Cuming opening for Maroon 5, but this time was different. It looked like he had just spent the last year wandering the Australian outback (his native land), complete with long hair, long beard, and tribal markings on his face; he wasn’t putting on a show, this was who he had become. As the lights went down he gave the crowd one piece of information about himself, “My name’s RY X, good luck finding me after this, I’m not really any where.”
Fast-forward to the now and it turns out he is e v e r y w h e r e. Reinvented and fortified with multiple creative outlets, RY X is rapidly becoming a sentient and formidable vessel for music to speak through, and so it shall. I can’t help but reflect on that single sentence he led with before mystifying the crowd at the Greek Theater, he had to have known at that time what was in store for his future, it had an air about it that is hard to describe. Part confidence, a little bit unsure, the balance between the two conflicting thought processes and a comfortability with the unknown that let you feel at ease. He knew. Now, he tells.
It all started with Berlin, the city and the EP by the same name. He mentions in an interview with Dots and Dashes that he doesn’t really understand why he’s in LA because a lot of his energy, creatively, is focused in Berlin. Fresh off the heels of his own creative Reneaissance, this debut EP that goes by the same name as the German capitol features a widely revered title track by the same name. It was recorded because, “it was a lament that I needed to write at a certain time,” he says, “it was [done in] a single take to tape, and there’s just something to it.” He goes on to describe further:
I couldn’t go back into the studio and record Berlin like that ever again, anyway – it would never sound the same. So without wanting to sound clichéd, Berlin lives in that moment. There’s a very small window of opportunity, or synchronicity, where things come together and you find yourself in that moment of pure humility. You’re almost channelling something, as you’re sat there playing something and it’s caught on tape – it’s like a photograph, in that a moment later, [that same picture] would no longer exist. So there’s something in that, and that version of Berlin just caught something, I guess. I mean it caught nothing, if that makes sense! It was just so raw – it didn’t have any pretense to it.
If his ability to remain so candid and stoic doesn’t have you currently enraptured by his artistry, venture now into the world of HOWLING, a project that got it’s name from an accidental 2012 hit by the same name between RY X and the Berlin based innovator Frank Wiedemann. Now on the heels of their debut album, Sacred Ground, set to be released on May 4th, 2015, we are fresh on the heels of RY X in his present form. HOWLING features Cuming’s haunting vocals and Wiedemann’s signature 4/4 that broke the internet when Dixon closed his Boiler Room set with the first single off the project, “Signs.” There is not much known on how the two linked up, I would imagine some combination of fortuitous astral projection and mutual admiration for each other’s personal projects sealed the deal, though. You can pre-order their debut album HERE and stream the second single off the album below.
To complete the tri-fecta of general badassery that spans the ever expansive yet surprisingly stark career of RY X, you can find him leading the band known as The Acid with mates Steve Nalepa and Adam Freeland creating dance music that morphs metal analogue synths and guitars to compliment the fragile vocals of RY X. The fact that he can remain so omnipresent as himself and maintain the diversity in each respective project is one of the more accomplishing aspects of his time on earth thus far. When probed on the subject of The Acid by Dots and Dashes he says:
A lot of people are not translating their music to a live setting at the moment; they’re just making records, and then doing playback from Ableton. They do a few things over the top, to add another element, but there’s a flatness to that. You’re not standing on the precipice then – there’s no risk. I mean there’s that risk of your computer crashing I guess, but it’s very different to playing live. Everybody senses that element of risk, and that either makes it beautiful in a dangerous way, ‘cause you’re not sure if everyone’s gonna hit the next note together, or it all falls apart. And that’s pretty amazing, I think.
It is crazy how so much thought is put into the mastering of each project, and very little spent marketing the sounds to the world. The Acid started with four meager uploads to a freshly created SoundCloud page, promoted not once by a single member in the band, yet a record deal, music video, and tour all seemed to fall into place for the trio. I guess that is what is so inspiring about RY X as a whole. He’s out there making music for himself, documenting his life sonically and laying it all on the line for you as a listener, and this bonding that takes place with such an exposed artist really gives way to how special he is to the industry in such a broad sense. He gives his all to everyone he comes in contact with, fellow band members, members of the audience, and anyone who seems to come into contact with his art. RY X is a creative force to be reckoned with, and this is only the beginning.