Artist Profile: .VRIL

by | Oct 5, 2023 | Artist Profile, Blog

.VRIL might not be a household name, but he’s someone you should be paying attention to if you have a taste for the fringes of transformative electronic music. On Saturday, October 7, .VRIL will join David Vunk as part of the 15th anniversary of Control Club.

His journey began in earnest in 2010 when he dropped his first 12″ .VRIL 1-4. This wasn’t just any debut; it sent ripples through the Dub Techno landscape, adding a fresh layer to a genre pioneered by the likes of Basic Channel. These early days gained momentum when he performed at Berghain in 2011. This important milestone wasn’t just an individual achievement but a prelude to a burgeoning relationship with Giegling, Berlin’s beloved label enigma, and its sub-label, Staub. One of the key milestones of this partnership was the release of his album Torus, which broadened his musical spectrum significantly. Not only did it dabble in ambient and electro territories, but it also elevated his work from mere tracks to multidimensional experiences.

When 2015 rolled around, Portal saw the light of day as a Delsin Records release. Unlike its more experimental predecessor, this album aimed for immediacy and impact, focusing heavily on the club environment. Critics took note, and Portal further fortified .VRIL’s standing as a rising mastermind of the genre. 

As the years progressed, so did .VRIL’s approach to music. His 2020 album, BM4, released on Marcel Dettmann’s BAD MANNERS label delivered a robust collection of tracks that were both powerful and expansive. His most recent album, Animist, released in 2023 as a return to Amsterdam’s Delsin Records, encapsulates his sound’s ongoing evolution, blending various electronic genres while maintaining a cohesive sonic identity rooted in Dub Techno.

Beyond his solo works, .VRIL’s collaboration with Berlin-based techno producer Rødhåd has been a noteworthy addition to his creative portfolio. The duo’s project, OUT OF PLACE ARTEFACTS, released its second installment, II, on Rødhåd’s WSNWG label. The record offered a variegated tapestry of ambient, electronica, techno, and breaks. It was launched with a live set at Zenner in Berlin. The performance solidified the pair’s on-stage synergy that continued with performances at Lyon’s Nuits Sonores and Netherlands’ Etmaal Festival.

One aspect that makes .VRIL’s live performances compelling is his extensive use of analog loops and drum machines. These tools help to construct sets that aren’t just a succession of tracks but kinetic, orchestrated experiences that shift from earth-shattering drums to delicate chord progressions.. doing so often in a single track. This has been most evident in his involvement with Sebastian Mullaert’s Circle Of Live, a collective improvisational project that includes gigs across the globe. His debut in the improvisational collective occurred at Detroit’s Movement Festival, sharing the stage with Amp Fiddler and Mathew Jonson. Numerous other performances followed, featuring collaborations with artists like Neel and Ame.

.VRIL’s sonic wizardry isn’t limited to his own compositions. As a remixer, he has reimagined works by a variety of artists, from the electronica of SUUNS and HVOB to the alternative sounds of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard to the classic techno of SteRac. His ability to distinguish between artistic integrity and imaginative reworkings has made him a sought-after name for remixes. In each, .VRIL injects his unique cosmic touch—never intrusive, always transformative.

In terms of his global reach, .VRIL has toured in over 45 countries, a feat that has expanded his audience and earned him a place in many “best live artists” conversations. While he continues contributing to esteemed labels like Giegling, Dystopian, and Delsin, he is also a staple of the premiere mix series of the industry, including via XLR8R, HATE, Resident Advisor, Dekmantel, and Taiwan’s excellent Smoke Machine Podcast. Furthermore, his tracks have reached the mixes of premiere selectors like Marcel Fengler, Luke Slater, Ben Sims, and Norman Nodge.

Institutions like fabric have also recognized his work, as his track Moon Tax appeared on fabric SELECTS 1. Of course, fabric is not the only nightlife institution to prominently feature .VRIL. He is also a frequent guest at uber-hautes like Awakenings, Bassiani, The Block, FUSE, Rex Club, Razzmatazz, and festivals everywhere, from Montreals’ Mutek to Malta’s Glitch Festival.

Whether through production work or cathartic live performances, .VRIL continues to push the boundaries of techno, offering a uniquely cosmic and deeply resonant experience to listeners and dancefloors alike. These sonic reflections of the unconscious are not to be missed this October!

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