Ryan James Mawbey - Four Walls
Released: January 20
In his second full-length release, English drummer Ryan James Mawbey takes the opportunity to collaborate with several friends and display that he is more than just a drummer. While his previous release Slow Wave of Long Comfort saw him put a greater focus on the percussive elements, four walls instead focuses heavily on ambient textures and small discrete sounds through much of its runtime. Not that the percussion isn't there. The album actually opens up with the heavily percussion driven track "four walls" playing out on odd and seemingly broken rhythm that manages to stay extremely consistent despite its unconventional metering. Mawbey's signature drumming returns in full on the with the slow and jazz-groove influenced "where solidity is bliss is" as it is accompanied by subtle bass and organ in a supremely chill vibe.
In between these tracks, Mawbey fully explores various ambient textures and even some odd and quiet rhythmic noise. The latter is exemplified in "something out of sight" with a subtle rhythm playing out on on unidentified instruments as seemingly warped synths or samples play out intermittently. Saving this track, many of the other tracks in the middle of this album are quite drone influenced such as "fading into a square." The wide variation in what is presented throughout the album spins an otherworldly narrative that is equal parts intriguing and serene.