Berlin is a stronghold for many modern day music enthusiasts, and such was the draw for Ryan James Ford to land in the city of legend and fountain of inspiration that has seen his music appear on Marcel Dettmann Records, Answer Code Request, a split EP with Umwelt on Repitch and the curation of his own imprint SHUT.
This Face Me EP for Dutch label Clone Basement Series is wild and in my eyes nothing less than seminal. As a follower of his music and having also studied his production diversity, his skill for switching between shades of techno, IDM, ambient or beyond is superlative, and to a lover of Aphex Twin and Warp Records just instantly steals my heart.
“Face Me (Inside Mix)” is a rattling, gritty beginning that switches up the mood with melancholic bells mashing and clashing around yet making wonderful, angular harmonies along with some acid licks later on just to complete this magical journey.
Second up, “BX 19 GTX” ramps up the gears with a heavy kick and haunting drones. Metallic stabs take over the rigid beat as the focus for a short-while, as a dull synth fires through to create an ominous closing vibe.
“Amethyst (Tri Dub)” is the landmark here, with a thumping, raw beat for the serious techno heads, he once again combines a heavy techno ethos with jovial sensibility. The chiming tones and contrast of intensity and delicacy can only be marvelled at.
Track four “Dames Shmedt” has a sombre approach overall, using warping notes like whales communicating in the dark of night, this all creates a setting that causes vivid imagination and introspection like not much else I’ve heard.
“M21 Junction 20W” appears simplistic with a tough rhythm and scything bass notes that rise and uplift amidst a whirlwind of percussion. Dreamy chords then take hold along with even more elegant melody creation that transport it to another plain of whimsical intrigue.
Lastly is “Theo Lacie” that completely comes from left field with a tribal and buoyant beat that is absolutely infectious and atmospheric. Playful and vivacious, there’s a looming menace confirmed from a sparsely introduced bass roar under it all.
The art of capturing feelings and ideas is alive and well in him and very much a secret weapon of limitless, remarkable and abstract techno gems.
- Reviewed by Jack! Who? for deathtechno.com