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ARTIST
TITLE
Life Variations EP
FORMAT
12"

LABEL
CATALOG #
BB 358EP BB 358EP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
9/18/2020

12" version. Sorbet is a new project from producer, drummer, and vocalist Chris W Ryan (Robocobra Quartet). The first release via Bureau B, Life Variations EP is a suite of three tracks borne from the same musical seed. A presumptuous thing to tackle across 20 minutes, Life Variations EP negotiates birth, death, and that part in between. "Not just human life, but the life of planets or our environment -- and the death and birth of personal identity; of sexuality or gender." Lead single "Birth (My First Day)" is a celebration of beginnings. Explosions of reverb and breakbeat drum kits are all borne out of manipulations in ProTools, an audio software traditionally for recording and mixing studio performances. Working predominantly as a producer in recording studios and concert halls across the country, Ryan opts to use a tool he knows and re-imagine its usage. Pushing a software like ProTools to its limits and making it a creative tool instead of a utilitarian one is at the core of the palate-cleansing sound of Sorbet -- a place where electronic and acoustic sounds have equal weight. "Death (This Year I Died)" is the shapeshifting centerpiece of Life Variations EP. Recorded in São Paulo when Ryan was there as the PRS Foundation Musician in Residence last year, it distills the cyclical essence of the EP to twelve beatific minutes. Melding scorched synth arps with hypnotic patterns that traverse the flux and form of noise, post-classical, and contemporary electronica, it's a triumph of heady, Technicolor experimentalism from a kind of musical auteur. While artists such as Laurie Anderson, Dan Deacon, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Björk make their imprint both musically and conceptually, Ryan fares a singularly self-referential sound-world in his savvy for magpie-ing: borrowing musical ideas from the likes of classical music and making field recordings of street preachers in São Paulo. Ryan even goes so far as to steal a stray snare drum or cymbal hit from his own vault of the hundreds of recordings he has done as a recording engineer and producer for the likes of Just Mustard, ex-magician and the Ulster Orchestra. Life Variations ends with a type of coda in the form of "Living / Dying". One last presentation of that same chord progression, this time paired with a kind of voice-of-god in the form of Mark McCambridge of Arborist.