- Ryan James Ford came of age in the '90s, and you can hear it in his music. It's often the melodies that give the game away, dusting peak-time techno stormers with IDM whimsy or classic euphoria. The three other records on Ford's SHUT label used these melodies to striking effect. The Canadian in Berlin's latest deploys them more sparingly, and sometimes it struggles to make an impact. The best things about the booming "Brixa Endt" are the accelerated tempo and the snares, detailed tattoos that build in stuttering intensity. But the wait for a satisfying hook to tie things together is in vain, as the thumping low piano riff doesn't quite cut the mustard. "Dress Parade," another circa 140 BPM rager, has a clearer twanging lead line but still lacks the emotive punch of which Ford is capable.
On the other two tracks, melody creeps back in and things get more interesting. "Crosscut"'s holding-pattern groove seems poised to hit the peak-time heights of the others—passing jet engines add to the tension—but instead silken pads turn it thoughtful and sweet. Not that they spell out the mood all that clearly. Instead they hang coyly low in the mix, letting off faint glimmers of optimism for the track's remainder. "Rachel Whiteread" is a more obvious ear-catcher, its rubbery broken-beat groove and bouncing synths sounding like an updated μ-Ziq. No surprise that Mike Paradinas is one of Ford's favourite artists
A1 Dress Parade
A2 Brixa Endt
B2 Rachel Whiteread