Review: Daniel Ryan / Matthew Crowe Split (Personal Archives, Jul 26)

The cover art for Daniel Ryan and Matthew Crowe’s split C27 is quite vibrant, but not in an overwhelming way. The colorful fragments of drawings and other bits and pieces evoke more of a sense of whimsicality, scattered-ness, hasty sketching; and the music itself continues in that realm, albeit taking a different form for each artist. On Ryan’s side, which opens with a frenetic maelstrom of scrabbling drum machine patches and hyperactive noise segments, the collaging of sounds seems natural and self-reliant. By this I mean that everything acts in relation to its surroundings: the restless rumbles of granular synthesis and claustrophobic contact mic drags (these are just guesses; identifying any of the abstract sounds here is a stab in the dark) flit around the stereo field like flies trapped in a jar—an abandoned experiment. Though Crowe’s three pieces are equally unpredictable, there’s much more of an authorial presence to the proceedings. Almost taking the form of a radio play, percussion samples and field recordings and other oddities are glued together in a strict sequence, and though many of the elements at work feel natural on their own the overall atmosphere is one of artificiality (in this regard I’m reminded of A World of Difference), something that becomes especially apparent with the arrival of piercing slices of feedback in “2.”