Rites Wild is one of the solo monikers of South Australian-born musician and artist Stacey Wilson. Beginning in late 2010, Rites Wild has released 5 cassettes, a CDR and a LP, as well as featuring on compilations including ‘We Are After All Here’ from New Weird Australia. Her debut album ‘Ways of Being’ was released by Los Angeles label Not Not Fun Records in October 2012. All releases are self recorded and mixed by Wilson at home. Since her first live show in January 2011, Rites Wild has embarked upon 6 full Australian tours, performed at Camp A Low Hum 2012 in New Zealand, SXSW 2013 in Austin, USA and Festival Nrmal 2013 in Monterrey, Mexico. She has been the national tour support for Sun Araw, Prince Rama and Xiu Xiu, as well as supporting international acts Dirty Beaches, Wet Hair, Mark McGuire, LA Vampires, Keith Fullerton Whitman, High Wolf, Beemask, Aa and Carsick Cars. Wilson also plays in a band, Terrible Truths, has two other solo incarnations, Regional Curse and Comfort Zones, and runs a label called Heavy Lows.
Ill Health/Rites Wild Theme/Seven in the Morning (Faux Friends, 2011) – SOLD OUT
‘Rites Wild Theme’ on ‘We Are Here After All’ (Compilation, New Weird Australia, 2011) – DL
Rites Wild EP (Faux Friends, 2011) – SOLD OUT
‘Detached Living’ On Beko DSL Compilation (Beko DSL, 2011) – DL
Spring 2011 Tour Tape (Faux Friends, 2011) – SOLD OUT
‘Minimal Where’ on Higher Planes Sound Book (New Planes, 2011) – BUY
‘Deep Ocean Sands (Rites Wild Version)’ on HARGHADA DREAMS by Andrew Sinclair (Owls, 2011) – BUY
JAN 2012 TOUR CD – 7 songs (Faux Friends, 2012) – SOLD OUT
‘Mass Exodus & Work Ethic’ NEW ZEALAND FEB 2012 cassingle (Faux Friends, 2012) – SOLD OUT
‘The Past Will Become New Again’ (Heavy Lows, 2012) – BUY
‘Ways of Being’ LP (Not Not Fun Records, 2012) – BUY
“As far as theme songs go, “Rites Wild Theme” would be hard pressed to be any more spot-on, as it encapsulates the vibe and ethos that pervades the debut LP by Australian solo artist Stacey Wilson in one mesmerizing groove. The decidedly lo-fi recording techniques emanate a familiar and approachable warmth, with copious amounts of reverb and delay smearing every drum machine and organ sound.
Stacey Wilson’s softly resonant voice is buried underneath the fog of natural tape distortion, the three-note bassline’s mantric drone, and the din of sprawling percussion. It all loosely recalls Peaking Lights’ dubbed-out repetition and the smoky mysticism that haunts Sleep ∞ Over’s subtle hooks, but Rites Wild seems less interested in applying those sounds to a pop format. Instead, she rides the waves of energy which ripple out from her music’s heavy pulse until they wash away in a cascade of cosmic clatter and crystalline melody.” – pitchfork
“Not Not Fun must be like some kind of electro-magnet for weirdy lo-fi synth types, as they’ve manage to dig up yet another one in Adelaide’s Stacey Wilson aka Rites Wild. After a slew of self-released EPs ‘Ways of Being’ is Wilson’s debut full-length, and quickly makes a case for her doomy, low-lit minimalism. There are songs in there somewhere, but Wilson’s vocals are shrouded in overdrive and reverb to the point where it sounds almost as if she’s beaming them in from just beyond the black rainbow. Like a deathly fusion of pre-rawk Religious Knives and a melted cassette copy of Silent Servant’s recent heavy-hitter ‘Negative Fascination’, ‘Ways of Being’ has no trouble ingratiating itself to the world of basement electronics, but does so with an almost meditative sense of calm and togetherness. In fact there are whispers of early Popul Vuh in Wilson’s almost spiritual organ ballads, and while everything is placed behind a thick pane of cassette noise you can just make out a flicker of transcendence in there. Gorgeous stuff.” – boomkat
“The name Rites Wild conjures visions of violent or malevolent ecstasy – of sparagmotic dismemberment and sublime highs. The purpose of that type of rite has long been lost on the western world, and in the absence of any real ecstatic expression, we’re now encouraged to drone on in monotone with barely any sensory deviation. We’re like what Clov observes when he surveys the audience through a telescope in Beckett’s apocalyptic stage play, Endgame: “I see… a multitude… in transports… of joy.”
It’s telling that Stacey Wilson has named her own label Heavy Lows. Its few releases are akin to Rites Wild: they’re similarly spartan in tone, but they share a weird optimism with the label founder’s own work that is important in light of this release. With Rites Wild, it’s almost as though Wilson is trying to reach for some form of ecstatic release by way of devotion to a minimal, brooding, quietly angry music.
Ways Of Being doesn’t change much from her M.O. to date. Its bulk comprises songs already released on cassette EPs over the last 18 months, with a couple of newer tunes rounding the package out to LP length. It presents us with a raft of anaemic drum machines, glowing synths and guttural vocal intonations, meshed into cerebral dubscapes and dirgey organ preset waltzes.
The most striking thing about this collection is the way it balances the cosmic with the intimate. On one hand, each element is tailored to sound as though it’s reaching for the cusp of perception. Drum machines and vocals are cloaked in immense reverb, and walls of delayed texture unspool endlessly into the distance on tunes like ‘Detached Living’. The title track spins a web of resigned, melancholic pop, which is squeezed through a sifting phase shifter to give the impression that its perimeters are slowly warping. Wilson’s vocal on ‘Work Ethic’ is so obfuscated by the burgeoning effects that it seems (appropriately) like a disembodied invocation. But the overall sound of everything is focused, almost muted, and utterly contained, as though by the sleight of a carefully disciplined hand that’s corralling each strand into the strictures of a small loom.” – crawlspace
“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, 4ZZZ
“While Rites While may hide the more natural sounds of their music, it actually creates a pretty haunting atmosphere. I suppose, to an extent, it could be labeled as dream pop, but there’s something quite ambient about their sound as well, reinforced by very simple drum machine beats and some very calming synth tones as well.” – the needle drop
“Rites Wild is the project of Stacey Wilson an Adelaide based musician and this whole album was performed and recorded in her own home (according to bandcamp which I read after reviewing the album) and this is certainly not apparent from a blind listening because it’s good, really good.
This album, without wanting to be kissing anyone’s back-side, has a fantastic atmosphere. But it’s hard to talk about this album without drawing some comparisons to the influences Wilson references in her work although, equally, that isn’t in a bid to ignore the original innovations on here because Wilson fits into the very Australian home-brand of self-obsessed, noisy, angst ridden post-punk.
On the first track ‘Ways of Being’, the drum track is reminiscent of Bauhaus’s mid-career work, it’s a very satisfying thud. The synths and main melody are interesting, the sound itself is clean against the background sounds and other instruments but it is very NDW to me in its depressive yet bright melody. The sharp and textured dub influences (again evoking Bauhaus) that echo and shimmer in the background are very well used and placed and make this an innovative track. ‘Ill Health’ keeps the dub influences but also has a heavier, noisier bass line over the simple percussion. The vocals are really reverb heavy and are accompanied by some percussive hits that echo with it. But it works, it really does, it’s a great way to make the vocals the feature and it’s dark and moody. ‘Thieves’ again demonstrates some well designed synth features, the setting sounds very church organ based which is pretty hard to use successfully (imo that is) but it comes through here.” – strangerpassing
“With some mildly unnervingly field recordings serenading Goodgod’s spinning mirror balls Rites Wild took the floor and proceeded to weave some intoxicating, pulsing electronic kosmiche tracks that sounded like the soundtrack to a dystopian analog future. Her long and spacious tracks delivered immersive and engaging results with some wonderful synth lines dancing and droning over pseudo-industrial rhythms. Stacey Wilson’s vocals have a distant, droning quality that perfectly complement her compositions.” – doubtful sounds
“Genre-defying music is the one aspect that connects all of tonight’s acts performing at Woodland. First up is one-woman band Rites Wild, in which sole member Stacey Wilson doodles with a synth and puts Grand Canyon-level echo through her vocals. The results veer from the hypnotic and danceable, like a blend of drone and house, to swathes of dubby reverb and a tinge of goth-pop chill.” – rave magazine
“Kicking things off is the rather appropriate Rites Wild who scored the [Xiu Xiu] support slot for the whole East Coast. While Stacey Wilson’s setup is significantly smaller in comparison to the headline act, the sound isn’t – with a sizable backdrop of expansive reverb/delay laced depressive electronica. The tracks really lure you in and as much of a cliché as that sounds, it is almost like a severe drug addiction consuming your life for several months and when you re-surface you cant recognize how long you have been stuck living that way, with drum machines, synth-organ lashings and barely distinguishable vocal melodies still stuck in your mind like an aged war veterans flashbacks. It worked well as a support that could have also easily worked well as a headlining slot.” - 4ZZZ brisbane
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