reviewed by Kaitlin Ruether
Skillful ambient music doesn’t just create spatial ambience, it also draws from the territory around it. At nineteen years old, Vancouver musician Kyle Cramer manages to pull from the sounds of Vancouver in order to shroud this EP — this “collection of songs made in sorrow, happiness, bliss, euphoria, rough terrains, rocky waters and environmental contemplation” — in all the complexity of a city in the middle of the wild.
Right from the organic clicking and suspended synths of “Cluster”, I feel as though I’ve been transported back to the ocean forests of the West Coast. That Vancouver glint of technology knocking around with massive, absorptive cedars and firs. This EP marries technology and the natural world. Pervasive electronic ticking (notable on the anxious “Morph” and the pebbly metallic clink of “Quadra w Sol Speech”) tugs and pulls at the organic melodies, which often have a wooden touch to them. Kyross even makes the occasional dip into recording organic sounds, such as the opening wash of waves crashing and the glass-on-glass tapping on “Silhouette”.
In Kyross’ music, solid fragments are asked to either join with the ethereal, or are forced to clash for an effect that becomes as addictive as Vancouver itself. Every aspect of this EP is alive and in motion. Just when you feel comfortable, a vocal sample will interrupt a reverie or the music will shift from R&B-influenced to full-on dance beat. Whether the atmosphere emulates the ocean, a rainstorm, or the development of glass architecture that reaches for the sky, Kyross has created a dynamic collection of songs that cement his place as a particularizer, an observer of the world around him.
Top Tracks: “Layers w Syke”; “Silhouette”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)