What does colour sound like?

Ringwave, a ‘bedroom’ electronic music project from Amsterdam, is sort of answering this with the production of its first album Days, which is, in the words of its semi-anonymous creator Lex, “dreamy electronic pop inspired by the endless stream of art experiments you can find on the internet. And a girl, of course.”

The musician who works by day in advertising, writes, plays, records and mixes at home and decided to make a track every month for a year, inspired by a different image. “Music usually starts with visuals for me,” he says. “When certain styles or artists start popping out on Pinterest, Cargocollective or on someone’s Tumblr, the melodies start coming. I use my Instagram account as the public mood board to involve people in the process and it grew to become the main part of the project. People point out stuff to me to help me finish a track, guess what songs will turn out like or just drop by to give me a thumbs up.”

Science fiction image


Image by Feridun Akgüngör

Abtract colour

Although there isn’t a particular theme to the images, there is a feeling of continuity present in the shapes, colours and digital style. “A big part of choosing the images is subconscious – it’s what jumps out to me, but I know the kind of instruments I want to use beforehand,” says Lex. “Looking back, I’m drawn to stuff that feels vintage and analogue, like the gear I use to make the music. And now that I take a good look at the images I’ve used, it seems there was a pretty strong circle phase.”

Marius Roosendaal | Moodboarding

Image by Marius Roosendaal

Image by Douglas Hale

Image by Douglas Hale

“Usually there’s a vague idea. On the song Stranger for example, I had some ideas to work with certain effects on the next song. I found a GIF by Bill Domonkos and liked the contrast between the retro photography with the weird geometric object. It’s completely out of place – and not, at the same time. This makes the whole thing outlandish. In the song I used an acoustic guitar and classical strings, and mangled them through distortions and reverbs to take them to a similar place. The plan was already there, the image helped shape it.”

Bill do monkos | Moodboarding

Image by Bill Domonkos

The whole concept was in partly shaped by the changing face of music, sharing and social media – something Lex recognised and responded to. “I love the concept of the old school full length music album, a collection of songs telling a story, bound together by artwork that gives a sense of the plot and the vibe. A good album is almost like a book. But on the internet, it seems to be more and more about single tracks, especially when you’re not famous – which makes sense. People don’t have time to listen to an hour of your music. I try to find a middle ground. The debut album Days is released while it’s created and after a year it is complete. By that time hopefully there’s a story being told, and hopefully the tracks found a bit of an audience during their month.”

Find Ringwave’s music here  or stream it on Soundcloud.

Jill Macnair


Jill Macnair has worked as an interiors journalist for 13 years, contributing to titles including Elle Decoration, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. She set up cult interiors blog My Friend’s House in 2009 with Ros Anderson and continues to run the forum daily.

The Chromologist 2019 | Farrow & Ball

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