Shane Ryan aka Spaghetti Abstract is an artist who recently released Heed. It is apparently the first of five albums he is releasing.
The music on this release is contemporary classical and minimal. I would make comparisons to Ben Lukas Boysen, Jon Hopkins, Stars of the Lid, Max Richter and a couple of other like minded composers who dive into minimalism.
His music is meditative, hypnotic and also beautifully captured. The album begins with “Fairwell” and a good amount of beauty is simply from the resonance and sustain from the piano notes. They linger like thoughts but it’s warm, comforting and tranquil. The transitions are subtle like the white noise/water that emerges.
“Fairwell” seamlessly transitions into “Pistachio Paradise.” His palette of sounds change. The piano is there but he utilizes a backward type of effect and loose percussion which could be household items. It's a beautiful combination of tones that really hit upon this meditative aura. You can feel safe here as if you are in a former dream or perhaps a former life. As the song progresses there is some more movement with the keys.
“Forever Benevolent” is perhaps the centerpiece that revolves around string and piano. The song feels organic in how it unravels. There are swells from the strings which lay like a pillow underneath the more striking piano notes. “Two Ducks & a Lady Bird” showcase some new tones and textures. The keys here remind me of the Music Box Bjork utilized on her album Vespertine.
Last up is “You Were My Home” which is the brightest and most hopeful sounding track. All things considered this was a wonderful way to end. I couldn’t help but think of the song “Immunity” by Jon Hopkins in the way he combines disparate elements. The phrase from Aristotle comes to mind - “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” It builds into hypnotic crescendo and ends suddenly which leaves a lasting impression.
There are a lot of things at work here that make this album a true gem. The recording is really on the money and captures the nuance and subtlety. This in my opinion is where the magic lies. Additionally, This album unfolds in a way that feels natural. The addition of sounds is an extension of his initial idea and he never reaches too far for something that doesn't add to the cohesive quality.
Clear your mind and take this in. Highly recommended.
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