Ryan Hemsworth could write the book on intelligent EDM. Nobody, it seems, can put together a track like the Halifax wunderkind. His sultry, tranced-out soul pushes aural experimentation to the extreme; very few other artists seem interested in coaxing so many delightful sounds out of their synthesizers but Hemsworth regularly wrangles a veritable menagerie of tones and makes them work together. For instance, “Avec Vous” draws from chiptune, prog-rock, dubstep, trap, hip hop, trip hop, P-funk and glitch and glides effortlessly between the sonic heritages. “Ryan Must Be Destroyed” walks from twisted chimes and resonant kick drums into sub-octave steel drums and square wave arpeggios, accenting the upbeats with a sampled “whoop” and fluidly winding back and forth between the scenes.

Hemsworth’s dynamic, busy drum tracks maintain momentum amidst the myriad loops and each of the vocal contributors fits their respective tracks’ motifs. More importantly, Hemsworth has crafted songs that work better together than they would as singles – Guilt Trips sounds and feels as though each track was conceived as part of a full length album, another rarity amongst EDM artists these days. Hemsworth captures, exemplifies and morphs a wealth of influences into one of the most original and exciting electronic albums released in years.

By John Julius

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