Matthew Riley and Aaron Diko are the synth duo Gravité. They are releasing their new self-titled album this Friday and we are premiering it today. Floating like the fog that sits above the San Francisco sky that they live in, Gravité’s synth melodies are blissful and free. The pair jam on well-weathered machines like the Juno 60, Minimoog, SH-01A, MS20, Minilogue, and a TR-08 for a warm and psychedelic sound that effortlessly floats from one song to the next. Gentle percussion helps provide some structure to these ambient and psychedelic synth jams that would feel right at home in a sci-fi TV show or late at night watching the waves gently roll up on the beach somewhere warm.
The album takes on different forms as it evolves. Some tracks like “Spun” are a little quicker with snares and drums coming to the fore, as it starts to settle down with “Odd Nights” and the soaring “Lucid Realization.” The finale “Fog” is as gentle as the namesake itself.
We are premiering the album and had the pair break it down, track-by-track for additional context. The LP will be released this Friday, October 9 on Empty Cellar Records. Pre-order on Bandcamp here.
“We started as an improvisational psychedelic synth band heavily focusing on the flow state and letting the subconscious run wild when we played. We later decided to turn our attention to more structured song writing, however really wanted that transition to stay close to our psychedelic roots. In the end we decided the first album should focus on the subconscious as well as our dream states/symbolism in dreams, and how it relates to our daily reality. The first 3 songs on the record were meant to introduce that concept with the idea that they should all flow together just like in a dream.”
1. Running To//Diving//The Other Side
“Running To” is an energetic song meant to emulate forward momentum and represent our conscious reality. It then segues into “Diving” which is more ambient and symbolizes a dream or dream like state where you encounter the subconscious and realize there is more to the surface of things. The bottom then drops out instantly transitioning to “The Other Side” which is meant to convey the realization of the subconscious and how to start incorporating the meaning of it into your life.
2. Window Paine
This song was written on a day where the sun was shining through our San Francisco studio window. It gave us a very light, happy feeling which inspired the feel of the song. The concept of a window being a barrier to the inside/outside world seemed fitting on an album focusing on the conscious/subconscious along with the symbolism a window represents – the providing of light (aka knowledge), as well as that light exposing what we initially did not see (aka our vulnerabilities previously unknown to us from a conscious level). This is one of our first songs we wrote for the album and always has been a fan favorite live.
On the track “Spun,” we wanted to convey the feeling of being overwhelmed by the new realization that things internally can really affect our external emotions and what we need to do about it. We really wanted the song to have a disorienting, manic feel, which we feel comes across.
4. Odd Nights
This one again focuses on sleep, however more on the aspect of insomnia and the activity of the mind racing. The song conjures up images of driving through an empty desert at night, which is a metaphor for a racing mind. Often, a dream can show you something important in your life and when you wake up in the middle of the night, it can be very hard to push those thoughts away. Your mind just races which we wanted to show.
5. Lucid Realization
The concept for this one is pretty self-explanatory. It represents the moment(s) you realize changes that need to be implemented in life typically discovered through self-reflection both on the conscious/subconscious (dream) level. It is an energetic song and is where the album turns a corner conceptually. It then leads to the final track “Fog.”
We wanted to end the album like how we started as a band, specifically with an improvisational approach/bent. The sequence was written prior, however the rest of the song was done all in one take. This track is meant to illustrate the idea of becoming “one with the fog” aka your own personal enlightenment or self-fulfillment. The airy, off the cuff approach to this was meant to give it an ethereal, continuously shifting quality like fog and summarize the potential of reflecting during different states of consciousness.