On Spine, award-winning Danish composer SØS Gunver Ryberg considers a sustainable alternative, buoyed by interconnectedness, empowerment, and understanding. Channeling her dexterous sound design into advanced, time-bending music that fluctuates through techno, experimental ambient, and soundsystem-vibrating bass music, she maps out an artistic landscape that's futuristic and complex, but never oppressive. Ryberg is an accomplished producer who's developed her sound over many years, playing concerts and working tirelessly on video game soundtracks, film scores, dance, performance, and multichannel installation pieces. Her first solo album Entangled appeared in 2019 on Berlin's esteemed Avian imprint, and was praised for its sensitive approach to noise and abstracted techno, while its EP-length follow-up WHYT 030 was nominated for the Nordic Council's prestigious music prize this year. Spine is the inaugural release on Ryberg's own label Arterial, and stands as a thematically dense statement of intent. The label provides a platform to extend Ryberg's artistic goals and reflect not just her world but a world she wants to see develop in the future: somewhere connected and creative, where exploration and free expression is prioritized over genre division and petty compromise. This philosophy is central to the sounds on Spine, which have been carefully sculpted to accurately lay out Ryberg's worldview. Opening track "Unfolding" presents a sonic ecosystem that flourishes as it spreads itself out, and quivering kick drums vibrate alongside unstable atmospherics. There's the faint fingerprint of Chain Reaction's notional dub techno in there somewhere, but Ryberg interrupts the thought before it can coagulate, assuring the listener that her vision isn't ponderous but playful and optimistic. This mood flickers into view again on the title track "Spine", as fragmented breaks rumble beneath disorienting synths. "Mirrored Madness" meanwhile is warm, assertive, and optimistic, contrasting skittering cybernetic percussion with dense, enveloping harmonies. When she pushes rhythm into the background, like on the cinematic "We Tumble On The Edges", Ryberg's compositional skill is placed under the microscope. We're presented with the opportunity to examine another dimension of her work, the mystery beneath the stone, hearing saturated, alluring pads infused with hidden harmonies. In these moments, Ryberg implores all of us to consider the environment, asking us to think about the earth's essential nutrients. Ryberg's concern isn't chastising, it's laid out in a warm embrace. Recycled vinyl and cardboard; edition of 300