Ryan Xristopher - Dregs EP
Ryan Xristopher launches his Dregs EP with lovely layers of intersecting rhythms. The time changes are clear, but delicate, as groups of beats shift together in different directions. The first few movements of this first track, entitled “Shredded Head”, introduce this as an EP with a lot of potential. Unfortunately, it is a potential that is never met. As various keys and guitars slide overtop this song’s rhythm, it is clear the melodies are as weak as the beats are strong. Somewhat generic and tired, notes chase one another in manner that is predictable, but not catchy.
Track two, ”Smoking on Newspaper”, suffers a similar casualty, but its injuries are much less severe. Once again, the beats far outwork the melodies. This time, however, bending notes and sonic manipulations play into the work, adding another level of detail. The note-bending, which is loose and organic, compliments the more mechanical approach to the beats.
After the third song, a fun, sample-heavy groove, the Dregs EP hits its most impressive peak. This fourth and final track, entitled “Lost A Day”, uses melodies in a more beat-like fashion. Quick notes hit in brief successive patterns and move in a way that better complements the rhythms. Underlined by synth washes and mushy bass, the tempo shift toward the end of the song increases the severity of the track as it propels it forward. The change is not abrupt or jarring, but it is intentionally obvious. And it keeps things from getting dull. The track is seven minutes of excellence.
There are some moments on this EP that are mundane and typical of the genre. There are other moments that are fresh and exciting. It averages out to be an okay listen, but it also promises of something much stronger from this artist in the future.