Rebel Yell pays homage to the 90s, rave culture and club kids in ‘Pressure Drop’
Grace Stevenson, aka REBEL YELL, got into industrial music after seeing a gig with Australian electronic music-makers LUCY CLICHE, VIDEO EZY, and SARAH SPENCER (BLANK REALMS) a couple of years ago. Finding a burnt CD labelled “dark techno” from an op shop shortly afterwards cemented her obsession, and led to her first fully-fledged EP, Mother of Millions in 2016. It gave her a reputation for making confronting techno music, with The Guardian describing the release positively as “noxious, militaristic and properly industrial.” Now, after collaborating with London-based producer YAWS and fellow Brisbane/NYC techno duo, MULTIPLE MAN, on club track ‘Collapsing In’, REBEL YELL is back with a heavy techno number, ‘Pressure Drop. It’s a taste of her debut album Hired Muscle, set for release in June 2018.
On the track, Stevenson sculpts a heavy, haunting experience. Summoning a unique and dark style of EDM, she creates a track about experiencing the night and dancing – KORG ESX-1, volca bass and vocal processor in tow. It features a deep and reverberating male vocal over a pulsing techno beat. It’s the compulsive power of repetition that drives this song, with regular beeps and synths paving the way to an epic high. The track’s video clip, directed by Triana Hernandez and edited by Stevenson herself, complements the song’s old school vibe, featuring a grainy 80s aesthetic, complete with tv static and fluorescent text.
The DIY, shaky nature of the camera work suggests Hernandez was trying to replicate the limited technology of the mid 80s, taking Stevenson one step closer to perfecting her boiling penchant for retro homage. Indeed, musically, ‘Pressure Drop’ captures her predecessors’ energy; visually, it pays homage to the 90s, to rave culture and to club kids, this last being taken quite literally, as the clip is of primary school children dancing in a classroom. Speaking of the video, Stevenson (who is also a teacher) says: “it explores the muscular intensity of the track through the energy of primary school kids in their own environment – their classroom. When it comes to dancing like no one’s watching kids are the fucking best.”
There’s just something about this song that makes me want to do lots of drugs and dance to heavy music for the rest of eternity. And that’s a good thing.
Hired Muscle is out this June via Rice is Nice.
Photo by Ella Maximillion
Words by CAMILLA PATINI