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Now Hear This: ii - Ryan Summers


Rating: ****1/2

Ryan Summers has compared his own music to an episode of Black Mirror. That sounds like just my jam. I love dark things. Creepy soundtracks. I'm a sucker for that shit.

But sometimes ambient music can be a bit of a bore. It doesn't always connect with me. So I have some concerns coming into this one.

Will my love of horror and the macabre overtake my general inability to love ambient music?

I'm ready for the challenge.

Listen to "ii" on Soundcloud below:

"Nightshift" is where we start off and it is indeed dark and very moody. It creates quite a feeling in your mind when listening with headphones. I actually really like this. It is dark though. "Sci-Fi Sequence" sounds like video game music. I love video game music. The dark theme is there again, but this one is a bit more hypnotic. "Transactive Memory Partner" is slow and methodical in its delivery but it's also quite lovely. "March Of The Elephants" is dope. The record is really cohesive but the songs aren't all overly same-sy which is nice. "Shapeless", "Hypnotic Drones", and "From the Coneflower" is what I'd like to call the "Absolutely haunting" portion of the album. Each one increasing in dark intensity until we reach the crescendo of mesmerizing beats on Coneflower. "Murky Depths" is next and is probably my favorite track on the album. Never before has a track made me feel like I was slowly drowning like this one. It might not sound appealing but believe me, it is. "Recharging" delves almost into New Age territory while never once losing its edge. Another very strong track here. "Don't Tell" is another one for a sleepless night with the headphones on. Dark and hypnotic like most of the album, it still stands on its own.

An amazing ambient album from Summers here. Each song manages to create a unique landscape in your mind's eye. It's dark and it might make you uncomfortable, but I bet you tell at least one of your friends about it. Really really great.