aldrch (born Sam Richman) operates in many worlds, and in none at the same time. Instead, he creates his own – a space in which he is free to “[marry] genres that otherwise wouldn’t be combined, toeing the line of what makes sense and what doesn’t.” In doing so, aldrch takes a more expansive approach than most, embracing interpolation, rejecting labels, and welcoming a diverse range of collaborators (including artists like Aldn, Midwxst, Ryan Leahan, Shotgun Willy, and labelmates poptropicaslutz!).
In the three years that aldrch has been seriously producing (and in the two since he moved from Minneapolis to Manhattan), his forward-thinking perspective toward music production and expert-level technical skills have made a name for him within the NYC alt scene. Infusing tracks with his own vocals, his recent releases have demonstrated his talent for producing beats with layered instrumentation, often accentuated by his unrestricted use of distortion and glitch-adjacent aesthetics – all from his bedroom. His music is already making waves at DSP’s with more than 175,000 monthly listeners across platforms, all while making a splash on editorial playlists such as Spotify’s New Music Friday, Fresh Finds and Anti-Pop (among others).
Despite the time, attention and hard work that each of his flawlessly produced tracks demand, the creative process comes relatively easy to aldrch. “It all feels very natural, just like we’re going about our everyday lives,” he says of his friends and collaborators. “We sit around my desk playing with synths and guitar pedals just trying to make shit that sounds cool.” For aldrch, this candid, low-stakes environment and the familial nature of the hyper-punk, hyper-pop, and alt circles he’s become a valuable part of (IRL and via social media) are key to his creative process.
Crediting his mother, Freya, as the person who instilled in him a love and reverence for music, aldrch began his musical career at just 6 years old. Taking classical violin lessons and playing in youth orchestras instilled in him a keen ear and theoretical foundation that would eventually reveal his talent for mixing beats as a freshman in high school. Though for aldrch, the goal has always been the same. “I’ve always been fascinated with the visceral element of music,” he explains. “I aim for my songs to be vessels of nostalgia, giving you a sense of yearning for something familiar – a person, place, time of your life…This visceral reaction is the reason I love to create.”
Now, at 22 years old, he channels this viscerality with every tool at his disposal, consistently curating and crafting fresh yet rich sensory experiences within his tracks, drawing inspiration from an eclectic roster of his favorite artists and dream collaborators (including but certainly not limited to acts like The 1975, 100 gecs, Bon Iver, Joyce Manor, and The Garden). Instead of creating chaos, aldrch artfully navigates his often maximalist style, leading listeners on a satisfying sonic journey, ultimately proving “that there can be solace in feeling out of control.”
Soon to graduate from the Technical Institute of Fashion with a degree in menswear design, aldrch is an up-and-coming multi-hyphenate force to be reckoned with, leaving no genre or style outside his range as he dives head-first into a new era with Epitaph.