Release Date: Jun 6, 2011
Record label: Tri Angle
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
The identity of Holy Other is a mystery, but do we really want to solve it? In Myspace and SoundCloud profiles, he or she appears beneath a glistening black veil. But this veil doesn’t serve to protect any truth, at least any truth that really matters to the average listener. What more information would we actually be getting if we knew his or her name? A set of two or three words that we can presume refers to the author of this five-song EP, and not much more.
Since the Tri Angle label was founded in 2010, each of its releases has helped to define the parameters of a fairly specific sound. Balam Acab, oOoOO and How To Dress Well have variously brought together bits and pieces of coldwave, dubstep, R&B, goth and ambient into a kind of cryogenic hybrid; an overarching sense of gloom has become the label's signature.The debut EP from Manchester's Holy Other takes the label's aesthetic deeper into 4/4 territory than it's gone before, but otherwise it's Tri Angle music par excellence, with glum, shuffling beats, vaporous vocal samples and a slow wash of synthesizers. Once you acclimate yourself to the ever-present fog of vocals and reverb, there's a nice range of styles on display.
What we know about Holy Other can be summed up in a few clauses: he's either a Berliner or a Mancunian, he plays with a black cloth over his head, and this year he released an EP called With U on Tri-Angle records. I've never been to one of his live shows, but thanks to YouTube I watched him play at the Rewire festival, in the Hague. It was excellent and strange; that fucking cloth makes me wonder how he sees the buttons he presses – the place is so dark.
Depending on which article or news story you read, Holy Other could hail from Manchester, Gothenburg, Stockport, or Berlin. The fact-shy producer is apparently now settled in Manchester, but there's a sense of disconnection that remains integral to his ghostly productions. There's a strong sense of loneliness in the swarm of sampled vocals that make up the spine of the tracks on With U, reflecting both in the way Holy Other treats his sources and the mixture of genres he pulls from.