Ryat encourages hands-on interaction with their music. | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Ryat encourages hands-on interaction with their music.

A trip to the website of the Philadelphia experimental pop duo Ryat yields most of the usual features: tour dates, photos, the opportunity to purchase music. Then there's the link that says "Remix Ryat."

The band members, Christina Ryat and Tim Conley, encourage hands-on interaction with their music. And their tunes -- complex structures of synthesized and acoustic sounds, with Christina Ryat's ethereal and often Björk-like vocals overlaid -- lend themselves well to playful refiguring.

The band began in 2006 as Christina Ryat's solo project; the multi-instrumentalist found a niche collaborating with Philadelphia electronic and hip-hop artists (King Britt, formerly associated with Digable Planets, was an early advocate). Last year, Ryat and Conley retired to a cabin in upstate New York to lay down tracks for the band's latest release, Avant Gold. They used an experimental song-crafting method in which they passed around the laptop they were recording to, without at any point working directly together.

While Avant Gold was officially released by Obvious Bandits in March, "We put it on the local scene in September, and started working on the remixes," Ryat explains. Avant Gold Remixed, which features mixes by the likes of Texas DJ and electronic musician Botany and Kranky artist White Rainbow, was officially released this week.

The duo is currently on a U.S. tour in support of Avant Gold -- and of the art of the remix. "Since we've been on the road," Ryat says, "we've met lots of people who have wanted to remix our music. It's great making those connections."

Those connections work both ways for the band.

"We actually remixed a Flying Lotus song last year," Ryat explains, "and he caught wind of it and put it on his website. That took us by surprise." The connection led to a Ryat collaboration with Taylor McFerrin being released on Brainfeeder, Flying Lotus's label.

Ryat plays Brillobox April 16 with local pop-electronic crossovers Action Camp and Summer Lungs, as well as remix champ Ag Ag Lady; perhaps some new collaborations are in order.


RYAT WITH ACTION CAMP, AG AG LADY, SUMMER LUNGS. 10 p.m. Sat., April 16. Brillobox, 4104 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $8. 412-621-4900 or www.brillobox.net

click to enlarge Avant Gold alloys: Ryat
Avant Gold alloys: Ryat

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