Ryan York: If I Am This Forest (Non Projects)
Ryan York’s newest EP comes off like the chiptune-tinged bastard child of Panda Bear and Zomby (who coincidentally did their own collaboration earlier this year on Zomby’s Dedication), the first track swirling with square synth patterns over reverberated vocals and treated guitar. The title track is probably the most exciting of the four, but the entire EP is quite compelling and interesting. “Sea Water” is less sprawling and high-energy than the first track, but its layered, syncopated rhythm section and glitchy synths that bubble to the surface halfway thru are weird and wonderful. The push and pull between human elements (voice, guitar, live instruments) and electronic effects and editing makes each of these four tracks playful and engaging. I forgot all about this gem when I compiled my favorite singles & EPs of 2011; this surely ranks fairly high if only for its spirit and uniqueness.