RIDE bass player Steve Queralt and writer Michael Smith join forces for solo EP
From euphoric post-rock to propulsive dystopian electronica and weird psychedelic dub
Steve Queralt, bass player of pioneering shoegazers RIDE, has joined forces with writer and filmmaker MIchael Smith for a solo EP, with Steve sculpting soundscapes while Michael provides spoken-word vocals in his lulling Hartlepool tones. The duo were introduced by Joe Clay from Bytes during lockdown, when Steve revealed that he was looking for vocalists to work with on some music he was putting together.
Joe had met Michael when he collaborated with the late, great Andrew Weatherall – who composed a soundtrack to accompany Michael reading melancholic musings from his 2013 novel, Unreal City – and felt he could be the perfect foil for Steve.
“Michael’s voice has so much depth and character and I love his eye-rolling, withering view of the world,” Steve reveals. “The subject matter seemed to glue itself effortlessly to the music as if we’d been together writing in a studio working towards some grand concept.”
“Whatever Steve sent me just seemed to fit where my head was at,” Michael adds. “Slowly but surely, in those days when time seemed like a strange, amorphous smudge, the tracks emerged, with us sending them back and forth, refining them, getting them right.”
The results are nothing short of sensational, with the music ranging from the euphoric post-rock of ‘Vespertina’ (which features Steve’s RIDE bandmate Loz Colbert on drums), to the propulsive dystopian electronica of ‘Glitches’; the weird psychedelic dub of ‘Chaldean Oracle’ to the haunting Boards of Canada-esque ambience of ‘In A Wonderland’, which features Michael’s five-year-old son reading a Lewis Carroll poem as a kind of ‘chorus’.