Wide awake

There are ambient artists who simply make music for the somnambulist. Or the insomniac. Or maybe, if you're lucky, both. Ryan Summers prefers his listeners to be fully aware when listening to his pieces. Though he does somewhat undercut that notion with the title of the album, which is the ICD (International Classification of Diseases) code for insomnia.

Ryan Summers

These songs have a lot going on. Summers incorporates many ideas and styles into his electronic cloud world, and some of them contain structure (!!!). All sarcasm aside, what really strikes me about this set is the range of sound and emotion that Summers is able to wring from an ambient base.

Plenty of the space, of course, but lots of other experimental electronic touches abound. Some of these even have something approaching a coherent beat. If you don't label yourself as an artist, I think you give yourself a lot more room to roam.

And Summers has taken it. This is not a peppy techno ride by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a rather varied exploration of the ambient. Hop on, and you're sure to find something to tickle the frontal lobes.

Jon Worley

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