Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ryan Emmett - Portrait of A Dog (Orange Milk Records, 2013)

Skywalker and Portrait of A Dog make me go up, up, and away! Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

 Pittsburgh is home to a bunch of great experimental artists. One of whom, Ryan Emmett, released a tape in 2012 on his label, Dynamo Sound Collective. Produced in a extremely limited edition of 15 copies, this multifaceted experimental gem thankfully has been given the reissue treatment by venerable Orange Milk Records. Christopher Merritt's effervescent electronics tape on Orange Milk was one of my favorites of 2013; now it has a partner. Also a member of Hunted Creatures and White Reeves, Emmett adroitly culls myriad strains of music to give life to his otherworldly sonic ideas.

Emmett immediately pulls in the listener with fusion evocative of Chick Correa and Miles Davis. Rhodes-like tones exude a crestfallen vibe which gets even more intense with something reminiscent of muted trumpet. Murky synth and noise give way to what sounds like incessant pounding of a toy piano. With the synth drone still lazily meandering, one perceives poignant piano; tones so delicate that they hang tenuously on the last branch of awareness - lovely! Emmett takes things to the next level in "Making Good Time", deftly juxtaposing soothing and lively sources; Grainy, warm ambient synth mixes with samples. Gorgeous reflective tones lightly billow at the end of side A. Electronics fluctuate and dissipate in the presence of swirling ominous tones as the flip commences. In "Spokane House", various elements manifest throughout. Spatially it is beautiful, with some aspects being more prominent prior to dropping to the back of the mix. Rolling, grainy noise combines with an R&B sample while cloaked, menacing vocals seem omnipresent. Persistent, hazy beats give rise to Emmett's ascending synth in 'Total Horizon' - one of my favorite tracks. Ghastly, yet beautiful, drone completes the tape.

Portrait of A Dog is elevated on the highest of shelves - the one covered in crystals. Though a late 2013 release, this tape will have a spot on Tasty Trichomes 2014. It should be considered criminal that more labels are not putting out this guy's stuff. Have you been able to dig the heady vibe of a Hunted Creatures outing? I've caught a few, and these folks explore some wild zones. Accompanied by aptly designed artwork with light pink cassette shells, Portrait of A Dog may be ordered directly from Orange Milk or via Tomentosa.

peace and love, friends :)