Published Feb 07, 2014As CEO of the Laser Palace label and a core member of both Hideous Men and BDRMPPL, Ryan McRyhew was a crucial component of Denver's electronic underground. After relocating to the south side of Chicago, McRyhew embraced his new surroundings, producing a handful of short, footwork-influenced releases under the name Thug Entrancer. The Tropics Mind series featured blissed-out analog synth melodies striding alongside complex drum machine constructions in a manner befitting the work of a veteran Windy City producer.
Enter Death After Life, McRyhew's debut for Daniel Lopatin's Software label. The eight-part suite greatly expands on Thug Entrancer's previous efforts, yet still finds the producer relying solely on analog synthesizers and drum machines. McRyhew plays with the fabric of electronic music, experimenting freely with obtuse melodies and scattershot rhythmic elements that seem to wobble and shift at will. Genres are ultimately dismantled: the acid-drenched "Death After Life III" erupts into saturated bursts of noise, while "Death After Life V" frenetically thrusts itself in every direction at once. The CD-only bonus tracks "Ready to Live Pt. 1" and "Pt. 2" harken back to those early Thug Entrancer releases, serving to gently release the listener from the intricate and driving rhythms that came before. (Software)