Making classifications and categories for our artforms lies not solely in the music critic/historian’s purview—it tends to be a common trait of human nature. Understanding an idea, grasping a concept, seems to become easier when the terminology is in place. So how to designate Subtle Shift, the debut by Within Reason? Ambient dub techno? The more abbreviated “dubtech”? Either description is a catch-all that essentially works, but there’s far too much nuance and certainly too many ideas percolating in the evanescent grooves and multi-hued striations of this recording to buttonhole it so conveniently.
Within Reason is in fact Gregory Kyryluk, who already maintains quite a substantive musical career as Alpha Wave Movement, but this new project promises an entirely different direction. Managing to bridge the gap between 70s European space itineraries, the skanking digital substreams of Basic Channel, and such contemporary slo-mo rhythmic auteurs as Yagya, Bvdub, and Gas, Kyryluk transcends the historical baggage of genre in service of fomenting something other than a twist on accepted modes.
Subtle Shift embraces a variety of mood-states: intermittently lush and beautiful, nocturnal and spooky, stark and mysterious. Kyryluk’s trump card lies in the skill of his arrangements: ‘familiar’ sounds achieve an uncanny otherness, rubbery beats melt in seas of silver echo, things move about in contrasting sonic dimensions. Most current practitioners of dubtech are content with the tried-and-truisms of reverb and delay; Kyryluk conveys a fascination with numerous strands of the electronic organisms born out of ‘traditional’ ambient, techno, post-dance, and decades-old Teutonic sensibilities.
Since 1992, whether recording as AWM, Open Canvas, or as part of the duo Thought Guild, Kyryluk has seized his influences (Eno, Roach, the Berlin School graduates, his love of the natural landscape) to navigate a distinctive path across analog/digital terrain. Within Reason demonstrates a sonic craftsman’s keen understanding of the depth of those interfaces.
released February 27, 2012
Subtly composed, manipulated, and reverberated in the Soundcave, Massachusetts, by Gregory Kyryluk in 2011. Layout and design by Darren Bergstein. Disc imagery, "Oakwood Blur", by Gregory Kyryluk. Thanks to Darren Bergstein for all and sundry.