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For more than a decade now Ryan Teague has walked an unpredictable musical path, treading and blurring the lines between classical, electronic, acoustic and soundtrack influences. His latest album Site Specific is yet another twist and turn on this intriguing journey. Still present are the minimalist polyrhythms, electro-acoustic instrumentation and cinematic ambience that have come to define his style, but this time - incorporating a full band - the themes are framed through a lens which also takes in improvisation and minimal jazz.
Key collaborators include Gareth Davis (Bass Clarinet) and Dan Nicholls (Rhodes Piano), who weave subtle melodies and textures throughout. The resulting soundscapes echo the timeless feel of In a Silent Way era Miles channelled through a contemporary palette. The music is at once expressive, dynamic and exciting whilst demonstrating sensitive restraint appropriate to its minimalist objectives.
Glitchy ambient opener Wide Angle sets the tone perfectly and makes way for the likes of Second Scene with it’s brooding bass, dark drums and minimal melodies. Elsewhere Surface Tension takes a fragmented string loop on an epic cinematic journey, whilst title track Site Specific sets agitated drum rhythms and cutting bass against freeform Rhodes and echoing horns in an intense showdown.
Ryan has demonstrated time and again that he is unafraid to try something new and Site Specific is no exception. But there’s a newfound sense of focus and energy here and something genuinely fresh and exciting seems to have emerged.