Introducing… Dials

Our Introducing... series focuses on artists who we think are worth shouting about. Here we have Dials, an ambient producer with a penchant for bad weather.

Posted on Apr 1st, 2013 in Features and Interviews, Dials / By Larry Day
Introducing… Dials Here at Bearded we aim to shed light on acts who don't necessarily have giant labels or muscley budgets waving banners behind them. This Introducing series will focus on artists who we think are great, regardless of how much hype surrounds them or where their origin story lays.

Name: Dials
Location: Bristol, UK
Genre: Ambient
Similar Artists: Deptford Goth, Baths
Contact: Bandcamp, Facebook
Events: New EP due later this year

Harry Young, better known under his Dials guise, has been sculpting sounds since his early teens, at first noodling on the guitar before crossing over to electronica whilst studying at university. Now in his early twenties, he's sharpened his skills and carved out a niche entirely his own, piquing the attention of the folks over at BBC Introducing with his eponymous 2012 EP, a release dripping with crystalline beats and fluid, trance-flecked synths. There are surface-level comparisons to South London wob-merchant James Blake, in his ethereal twilight noises, but this isn't post-dubstep by any stretch of the imagination. Young focuses on silky melodies and slow-burning hooks; these are mutated soundscapes.

“I listen to a lot of different types of music... William Basinki, Baths, Four Tet, Pavement, Captain Beefheart, Fever Ray, Oval...” Of his inspirations, he notes the iconic eletronic act Aphex Twin: “Their ambient works have influenced my music a lot. Tracks like 'Rhubarb', 'Stone In Focus' and 'Cliffs' are tracks that have had a huge impact on me. 'Rhubarb' may well be my favourite track of all time.” Especially in the percussive elements, the influence is clear – there's a '90s rave aspect, and behind all the smoke and mirrors, each effort he releases has a formidable beat at its core, acting as a spine for the fleshier sounds. But it's not just other musicians that leave an impression on Young: “The weather, especially rain, has influenced the mood of my music.” Almost every sonic thread is tinged with the aquatic – the from actual samples of rain in 'I Am Nowhere', to the underwater pitter-patter of 'Paths'.

Dials is a lesson on how to make a great EP. From the opening bars of 'Happenings', a swirling cut filled with emotional heft and juddering rhythms, you're hooked. 'Morning Light' recalls the sparse, orchestral post-rock of Icelandic legends Sigur Rós, with shimmering synths and luscious, melodic vocals. Caffeine-jitter drums, with an almost Bhangra twinge, pervade the icy floes of melancholy synthesizer. The EP is available now on his Bandcamp.

Fortunately, we don't have to wait too long for the next instalment of Young's musical journey. “I've been working on new stuff, and I'm planning to release quite a bit this year. I am planning on releasing an EP. I may put up some tracks that won't be featured on the EP on Soundcloud before that though.” He recently dropped new effort 'Move', a chilled-out slab of ambience that features eviscerated vocals and a minimalist structure. It's a tranquil, delicate lullaby with overtones of hope and happiness, and it shows perhaps a thematic advancement from the oft-morose songs of his previous EP.

What Young has opted to reveal to us so far has been astounding – the calibre of music available is the kind you'd expect from an artist far more established and far further into their career. The offerings are still scant, but with the promise of more to come in the near future, people will soon be fawning over Dials.