Pittsburg-based aural-atmospherist Ryan Emmett recently released a tape of his work out on Orange Milk Records. The tape entitled Portrait of a Dog provides a template for an unconventional form of ambient music, one designed to soak in and trap the atmosphere of a physical space rather than project one onto it.
Running about half the length of the tape, A Night Waiting is the capstone of the collection. It starts off with a swirling, distant saxophone echoing like the sounds of a street performer in the subway. The sax blows start to get further away and begin to contort as sounds of people milling enter, their words just under the range of comprehension. The human sounds abruptly cut out leaving a very desolate synth brooding by its lonesome. Emmett is able to get across emotional and scenic narrative both through its evocative found-sounds and the escalating tension of its synth-line. The next track Making Good Time combines an ASMR approach to drums with the loping crackle of electrostatic tones. In fact, the following five songs all have the textural potential to aurally induce a skullgasm, while simultaneously capturing the frequencies of unease. For all its tension, however, there’s a comfort in tuning into and sharing in Emmett’s frequently ominous and unsettling moods.
In pinpointing and exposing these super-lingual sentiments he is able to transform the darkness into a human connection. Roam closes the tapes with vaporous resonance of an angel-choir. Emmett seems to be suggesting if you allow your attention to be engulfed by eeriness then catharsis will follow.
Stream it below, pick up the tape here.