Ryan Huber: Duopoly + Subterrane (self-released, 2022)

April 23, 2022 at 7:40 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Ryan Huber: Duopoly

The elusive Ryan Huber has recently resurfaced on Bandcamp with some new releases, as well as a couple from the vaults. I haven’t listened to the latest one yet, but the two earlier ones from this year showcase two vastly different sides of his work. Duopoly is sort of a minimal techno release, but one that doesn’t follow the linear path of most minimal techno. “Bucket Collector” is eight minutes of ticking beats, but at different volumes and intensities, making it feel like it’s ducking down different paths and coming back into view. “Details Matter” is more rapid and racing, but the beat is tunneling away from you. “Commercial Soul” is like grappling at the side of a cliff while dust and pebbles are trickling down on you, but you’re still able to keep balance and climb without falling. “Skytaker” has the energy of an acid trance track in the making, but instead of taking off, it burrows inside itself. The title track also has a nervous pulse that feels like it could blast off, but it seems to fade into the shadows, and the pulse that threatens to incite damage is what takes over.

Ryan Huber: Subterrane

While Duopoly has some propulsion, even if it ends up ends up being an illusion and never actually progresses, Subterrane is a drone release that is absolutely steadfast about remaining in one place, or trying not to exist at all. That said, it does gradually shift into different spaces, and there are moments when it swells up into something resembling light rather than ever-present darkness. When he titles a track “Dearth”, though, he’s not pulling any punches. “The Pulse” comes close to the distant reverberations of a slowly tolling bell, and the last three tracks are dramatic enough to feel like they have cinematic undertones, forming some doom-filled mini-suite.

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