Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

The Acid – Chats Palace, London 01/04/14

07 April 2014, 13:00 | Written by Sarah Joy

In the place where music and creativity combine in a swirling surreal mass come international trio The Acid, whose inaugural performance at Hackney’s Chats Palace saw live visuals mix freely with sonic intensity.

Consisting of Californian polymath Steve Nalepa, DJ and British grammy nominated producer DJ Adam Freeland and Los Angeles singer-songwriter Ry X, The Acid are a unique brand of super-group bridging the gap between minimalist electronica and the conceptual. Uniquely full for a first attempt at live performance, the off the beaten track Chat’s Palace – which once served as Homerton’s library – is a fitting venue. Nestled deep within hipster territory and sparsely grandiose, it held a crowd as eclectic as the band themselves.

Until this point there had been an overarching air of mystery about The Acid’s inception and live execution, which allowed for a tangible anticipation to hang thick amongst the hazy steam coming off the packed crowd. Whatever is left unknown about the band though, their unreleased online sounds encompass ethereal electronic soundscapes cleverly littered with sparse beats and haunting vocals.

From the audibly foreboding opening of “Tumbling Lights”, it was evident the band have fully embraced the transition from master to live as every trembling note and jangling effect was performed without reliance on a backing track. Painstaking recreated in its entirety, The Acid opted to match this aural artistry with other sensory stimulation as kaleidoscopic projections silhouetted them like a Warhol screen test.

EP track “Animal”’ allowed vocals to come to the forefront of the mix with only the barest instrumentation distracting from the yearning in Ry X’s delivery. Vibrating distortion gave a brutal edge to the minimalist composition as sonic aggression filled the spaces unapologetically.

Crackling pulses heralded the opening of “Creeper”; a panic-inducing new number that sinisterly mumbled its way through erratic heartbeats and violently frantic outbursts. With multiple unexpected assaults on the ear, real moments of drama were masterfully created.

At the apex, “Fame” offered some fuller moments as bouncing synths plateaued into soft peaks of chiming electronics. A warmer and more layered sound than head before, it is reassurance that there is more bubbling away underneath The Acid’s sparsity.

Despite this rare moment the band do seemingly subscribe to the rule ‘less is more’ and as such variation from their bare essential approach to songwriting was rarely allowed, as concept is clung to. That said, the captivating experimental atmospherics do lend themselves fully to the exploration of light and dark dualities in a way rarely seen from three musical heavyweights. Like a nightmarish trip that will haunt for days after, The Acid achieved dramatic debut that will be remembered for long past the hangover.


Tumbling Lights
Basic Instinct

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next