It’s rare in 2021 for artists to be able to keep their identities anonymous, such is the reliance on social media to push music to the masses these days. But go on Ray Incident’s social pages and you’ll find no hints as to who the person (or people?) behind the new album ‘Incidentaloma’ is, just colourful illustrations of a musician deep in thought, pen hovering over a notebook, or sat at a keyboard.
It would be interesting to see how successful ‘Incidentaloma’ is without a personality to latch onto behind it, if Ray Incident was interested in the typical kind of success most set out to attain. Instead of commercial or economical triumph, though, they say they’ve created this record as an “art experiment” – one through which they hope to connect with “those searching for something completely unique”.
The album itself is certainly one-of-a-kind. Completely instrumental (you didn’t think Ray Incident would reveal themselves by singing, did you?), the collection of seven “incidentals” (or tracks) veers from eerie, ominous collages (‘Incidental 21’) to tracks that sound slightly less shadowy and brooding, like ‘Incidental 11’, which combines the sounds of old internet dial-up connections with bright piano chords.
Ray Incident’s debut album is, they say, a “vessel for absolute creative freedom and experimentation”. It’s a singular release – free from any touches of modern (or past) trends, and completely out of step with today’s mainstream. The songs evolve as they move through melodies, ideas and beats, shapeshifting as you imagine they did in the decade-plus that the artist spent working on them before sharing them with us.
The results are evocative and boundary-pushing, but challenging in a way that will likely relegate them from being universally celebrated. Not that Ray Incident seems bothered about that – after all, the bio on their social media accounts declares them to be “the experimental counterpunch to mainstream music”.
In another move that keeps them free from the typical processes of the modern music industry, ’Incidentaloma’ is released on their own label, Corpus Callosum. Moving forward, the imprint will begin to support a range of other, fellow ground-breakers working in the avant-garde, experimental and futuristic spheres. It’s an exciting move – one that could build a new community of truly individual artists on the fringes of the music world.