Sha Ru’s highly anticipated EP ‘They Are Textural’ is finally out!

Sha Ru’s very existence is an act of joyful defiance. The NYC-via-Berlin duo of Masha and Ru draw from punk and dance music’s deep roots in protest and liberation, filtered through the expansiveness and fluidity of queer identity. A slew of incendiary EPs and rapturous live performances have established the band as an outspoken force in electronic music, exploring darker shades and bass-heavy, future-seeking sonics that invoke post-punk and industrial pioneers as much as anything in the club canon. The duo’s debut EP for Monkeytown They Are Textural provides a surprising new expansion of their sound and conceptual framework, filtering the political through the lens of the personal and charting the duo’s own journey with queerness and identity. It compiles Sha Ru’s most daring, honest and vulnerable work to date – invoking a panoply of overwhelming emotions from platonic and romantic love to heartbreak and psychic distress, rendered in deft rhythmic architectures and rumbling bass balanced with deep, sensuous melodies and softer textures.

 They Are Textural traces steps towards self-realization that will be familiar to anyone on their own journey with queerness and identity. There is a distinct tension between light and dark, euphoria and rage that captures the complexity and nuance of the “self” – the conflict between inner and outer self, the dissonance between how we present vs who we truly are, while trying to find a resolution between these different psychic states. Both Masha and Ru grew up in countries where queerness was stigmatized and LGBTQIA+ rights were under threat, the “suffocating echoes from the past” invoked amidst the pummeling bass pressure and rolling stomp of “Not Your Steps”. “Tranqui Call” captures the liminal feeling of “becoming”, warped vocals occupying a space between human warmth and robotic detachment. This feeling of letting go of familiarity and comfort to find oneself reprised in the aptly named “Get Lost”. “Crawl” succinctly captures the breadth of relationships that inspired the EP – some that would blossom into lifelong friendships, others ending in heartbreak, navigating textures from rough to smooth and everything inbetween. Masha’s mesmeric vocals drift atop warm currents of bass, sparse yet resolute rhythmic figures allowing space for everything from softness and euphoria to obsession and heartache.

They are Textural is a euphoric, insightful ode to the complexity of human nature. It’s a vulnerable and honest expression of very real struggles with the concept of the self, reflected in charged tracks bristling with conflicting emotion that oozes from every hypnotic bass pulse and sensuous vocal turn. The EP is a clarion call for all of us to embrace our true, multifaceted selves – much like Sha Ru’s music, we contain multitudes.