Hauntology is a movement that is relevant in the electronic music world and invokes a liminal response to its listeners. Liminal space is the time in between a rite of passage going from one stage of life to another. During that time thoughts can occur about the distortion of the future that was promised in the past as the actual reality becomes clear. Techniques in modern music to create this response include broken time concepts and otherworldy layers combined with vintage audio dialog that is often from the days of early radio. Idiosyncratic has released their debut album titled Rue which is built on the traditions of hauntology and the liminality movement that is heard in the music of groups like Boards Of Canada, The Caretaker, and Burial. Idiosyncratic – Rue features eight tracks of unique dark and emotional music ripe with melancholic themes, vocal samples from free domain audio footage from the 1920s through the 1940s, and the use of vintage recording equipment.
We get the full hauntology experience right from the get-go on Idiosyncratic – Rue with the opening track titled Blunt Force Trauma. Throughout the track, the classic dialog is featured while going through three different background changes that include a Glenn Milleresque-sounding big band, followed by warm and solemn-sounding synth pads playing block chords, and lastly the sounds of a vintage clock playing the Westminster Chimes theme. The warm synth pads are featured often throughout Rue to bring out the emotions on various tracks. The synth pads offer powerful reverberations in the second and more meditative track on Rue titled Cut And Dry, which is an all-synth feature with no classic media clips.
The third track titled Tourist Drive takes on a Lo-Fi feel with its classic Casio keyboard-sounding preset rhythm groove accompanied by playful synth arpeggios before making way for, more synth pads playing block chords over various vintage audio clips. The title track, Rue, puts into practice the use of classic tape delay on the vintage dialog clips creating some very ghostly-sounding effects to go along with the continued use of the emotionally warm synth pads. The second half of the album features two more synth features on opposite spectrums. The track titled Porcelain features harsh textured synths eliciting a feeling of uneasiness while the track titled Equilibria features more warm and calming textured synths.
Two of the last three tracks on Rue are straight-up piano features in the style of artists like Yiruma and in the spirit of hauntology with the recordings done with the use of classic equipment to portray a vintage sound. The piano features include the sixth track titled The Time Of Your Life (when), and the final track titled Console Console. Rue is defined as “the feeling of regret” making it the perfect title for this captivating freshmen album derived from the traditions of hauntology by Idiosyncratic.