Held by Holy Other on Apple Music

9 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Forget witch-house, grave-wave, and whatever other spooky electro subgenres are being championed by taste-making blogs. Holy Other is the real deal. The Berlin/Manchester–based producer keeps his name and identity shrouded in mystery, right down to donning a mask during live performances. His 2012 debut album, Held, offers up nine indie-electro compositions that are beautifully melancholic and haunting without a trace of irony. “(W)here” opens with synthesizer notes painted in the darker hues of new age tones. Armed with what sounds like a blend of modern and vintage drum machines, Holy Other manages to blend R&B melodies with gothic moods to tread uncharted territory. Those same synthesizers seem to make heavy inhalations and exhalations in the following “Tense Past,” over which he loops high-pitched samples of Eastern female vocal parts. Both this song and the darkly atmospheric “Past Tension” share DNA with vintage 4AD recordings—it’s easy to envision this side of Holy Other opening for Dead Can Dance. But there's another side to Holy Other steeped in sultry soul and R&B, as heard on the standout cut “Inpouring.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Forget witch-house, grave-wave, and whatever other spooky electro subgenres are being championed by taste-making blogs. Holy Other is the real deal. The Berlin/Manchester–based producer keeps his name and identity shrouded in mystery, right down to donning a mask during live performances. His 2012 debut album, Held, offers up nine indie-electro compositions that are beautifully melancholic and haunting without a trace of irony. “(W)here” opens with synthesizer notes painted in the darker hues of new age tones. Armed with what sounds like a blend of modern and vintage drum machines, Holy Other manages to blend R&B melodies with gothic moods to tread uncharted territory. Those same synthesizers seem to make heavy inhalations and exhalations in the following “Tense Past,” over which he loops high-pitched samples of Eastern female vocal parts. Both this song and the darkly atmospheric “Past Tension” share DNA with vintage 4AD recordings—it’s easy to envision this side of Holy Other opening for Dead Can Dance. But there's another side to Holy Other steeped in sultry soul and R&B, as heard on the standout cut “Inpouring.”

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About Holy Other

One of the more mysterious figures in the dark electronics scene of the 2010s, Holy Other first emerged in 2010 with the We Over EP for Transparent Records, a release that set forth the tenets of his style: cavernous bass, abstract rhythms, pitched-down vocals, and oceans of reverb that come together in a sound that owes an equal debt to goth, dubstep, and R&B influences. Based at different times in Manchester and Berlin, the producer kept his given name a secret, never showing his face in his album artwork and performing in a mask. A split cassette with producer Indigochild followed later in 2010, and Holy Other signed to Tri Angle to release his first EP, With U, the following year. After touring the U.S. with Amon Tobin, Holy Other's debut album, Held, arrived in August 2012. ~ Heather Phares

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