A haven of normality in East Yorkshire, Hull would not have made a very decisive contribution to the history of music in the United Kingdom if it weren’t for that same tepid landscape that gave life to Throbbing Gristle. Maybe there were other fires and Basil Kirchin lived there for a few years, but for all intents and purposes, there is no tangible legacy that we associate with a particular musical movement as in other more revered latitudes – Manchester, Sheffield or Bristol. The album reflects Richie Culver’s return to his hometown after more cosmopolitan stops, ‘I was born by the sea’ doesn’t try to flatter or glorify Hull, but rather projects a twisted but no less real mirror of it, of mental and physical twists, of little swims that become everything.
Already with a recognized work in the meanders of visual arts and multimedia, it gained special relevance after the controversy and viral impact that the painting ‘Did U Cum Yet?’ generated on Instagram, in a reference to the masturbatory process that is presenting art on social networks. Something that outraged many people, left a few scratching their heads and generated a torrent of comments that became a book – after Culver himself destroyed the piece – and continued with the EP ‘Did u cum yet?/I’m not gonna cum’ signed in collaboration with Blackhaine, and leveraging the interest of this mind in music to something more expressive. And equally personal.
Continuing the collaborative path already in 2022 with Pavel Milyakov tcp Buttechno in ‘A Change of Nothing’, Culver throws himself revealingly into his loneliness in two phases: first with the release of ‘Post Traumatic Fantasy’ by the very active Superpang and with the aforementioned postcard of experiences in Hull of ‘I was born by the sea’ by REIF. I wander through possible memories and laconic bits of reality patiently poured out in spoken word patches that confuse meanings and become encrusted in the torpor of layers of pads and aching synth chords. Seemingly ambient in the somewhat contemplative sense that rises here, Culver’s music escapes this fate without imposing itself, claiming attention through almost hallucinatory paths where word and sound become entangled in multiple realities. Singular. Precious. BS