Rioux, “Cold Sweat”

Blake Gillespie

New York by way of Detroit producer Rioux has the regional pedigree for electronic music. The metabolizing of the two cities is felt in his records, and there is a feeling that in the pursuit of a transformation Rioux can never be done with his past. This was apparent when he curated the “Replicant Mix” for our Friday Night series and it is present again on the recently released “Cold Sweat” single.

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With the mix Rioux built a better version of himself. It was a dystopian reanimation with fresh eyes on old data. On “Cold Sweat” he’s exploring the self once again, this time focusing on the masculine and feminine binaries. The eight minutes of techno keeps a steady hand of calming bpms over bird songs and hushed vocal coos while the anxiety in “Cold Sweat” is subtle rather than an opiate-induced fever dream. This is not the sort of cold sweat brought on by the menacing vibrations of over indulgence. Rioux is short in attention span, but delicate and concise. It’s possible to trust Rioux’s transformations the way we trust Derrick May’s “Strings of Life” and the way we trust Dinosaur L’s “Go Bang”.

Stream “Cold Sweat” below and read on for an interview with Rioux.

When I last heard from you it was for the “Replicant Mix” and you were self-sampling, by digging through pieces of your work on the Evolver EP and reconfiguring it. In working on “Cold Sweat” / “Fluid Being” how has your production evolved and what has remained?

“Cold Sweat” and “Fluid Being” were made using a few sounds you might expect on a dancefloor and lots of sounds you wouldn’t. No pre-existing work was sampled but it’s interesting you bring up “Replicant Mix”, because “Cold Sweat” is a bit like a DJ set in miniature. It moves between movements every two minutes as opposed to say, eight. The track has a schizoid, ADD quality to it: it’s frenetic and it’s full of chaos, but it’s funky and it’s fun like the city I live in. I definitely hear New York in these tracks. I sampled its streets!

These tracks explore the feminine vs masculine binary. Outside of the music how have you explored the binaries and how have those experiences fed into your art?

It’s people that I’m attracted to. I am open to everything, and that includes the masculine and feminine sides of me. I don’t identify as any one thing in particular, and neither does my music. “Cold Sweat” is certainly a strange beast to pin down! Sometimes it’s bold and grotesque… at other times intricate and sensual. The track had a personality and a mind of its own since it began to coalesce.

Metamorphosis is often present in your music. With the release of “Prime Matter”, you said you were on the cusp of a great transformation. Given the exploration of binaries on “Cold Sweat” and the movements tucked within, how has the idea of metamorphosis changed for you since making the Evolver EP?

“Prime Matter” is about potentiality and new forms yet to emerge. It’s the calm before storm as well as the storm itself that gives way to something new. Change is one thing that is not going to change so it will always be something I embrace.

The plan is to release a full length in the fall. Can “Prime Matter”, “Cold Sweat” and “Fluid Being” be considered precursors to the album that will reveal hints as to the sound we can expect in the fall?

I will be releasing my solo debut LP in the fall. One of those songs you mentioned is a bit more of a hint than the others. I’ll leave you to guess which!

Preorder the Cold Sweat / Fluid Being on Rioux’s Bandcamp.

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