Ryan Summers – F51.01

Ryan Summers

Ryan Summers – F51.01

Experimental, melancholic, and bold. F51.01 receives an 8.5/10. Summers operates more like a photographer than a musician. He is playing with space, and the environment. This album is a Belgian blond. A beer that is light, and does not take a lot of work to drink, but has an underlying complexity in its simplicity. A beautiful paradox.

F51.01 is an ambient art album by Wisconsin based musician Ryan Summers. Summers states that F51.01 is a collection of his work that he created to cope with his insomnia. F51.01 is the code that those in the medical field use in reference to insomnia.

The album is a collection of sounds played on synthesizers in different areas with different acoustics. Summers produced most of F51.01 in a church and used the various areas for different effects. F51.01 explores the differences in sound and how it travels through the air.

The pacing is slow, and the music is meant to be reflective. It appeals more as a background type of music. F51.01 is a good album to have on when you are trying to sleep, or study, or work. It is also rather meditative. F51.01. For those who like to listen to music, and enjoy listening to while not being distracted by other tasks, F51.01 is suitable for that as well. A good ‘zone-out’ album.

Ryan Summers fits in with the minimalist genre. His music is similar to Steve Reich and Philip Glass. There is a minimalist redundancy, but that is where the art lies. Each of the songs has a redundant theme which makes the differences quite pronounced when introduced.

Minimalist music is a tricky genre, and I think Ryan Summers does well with it. In my opinion, minimalist music is well done when the artist uses the lack of sound, or excitement to create a sort of dissonance in the listener’s ear. The listener is able to fill in what is missing from the existing repetitive sounds.

There are a delightful array of different styles on this album. At their core, I would describe the tracks as minimalist compositions, but there are distinct differences in the songs.  Power Relay Unit sounds like a backing track for a sci-fi thriller when the hero first boards the seemingly abandoned alien ship. Where as Well Turned is more upbeat and has an oriental feel to it.

F51.01 has good continuity to it. There is enough diversity so that the album does not feel tired. Each song has depth to it and much replay value. Although I think this album works best when listened to as a complete entity. You also must be in the right mood for this album. It is not something you can listen to in the middle of the day, or at the gym, this is a quiet ‘reflective-time’ album.

Listen to the album on Spotify, and/or Soundcloud.

-Sam Hill

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