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Ronan - Prolongez La Magie (Eternal Ocean, 2019)

Come on some next trip on one of 2019's most hybridised mental and physical workouts!

Melded together often remains the most compelling. It is often the case these days that producers look to bind together pieces or cornerstones of genres within their own vision, crafting an environment that feels familiar but at the same time allows spaces to be created that encourage exploration. This may be through pushing expectations of genres to their limits, spinning the very usage of hardware on its head, or just taking characteristics, breaking them down, and spitting out something truly remarkable. With the current scene, many are deconstructing genres associated with UK Sounds, along with breaking down techno to its core essentials of beats, producing landscapes of sounds and tones that litter some kind of breakage. We simply infill the space, working between despondent elements that have been left for us. As we search, the pieces come together, the sounds becoming less isolated, as the picture begins to make more sense. These producers are really moving electronic music forward, taking ideals that were treasured and moving techno and bass and that into bold new terroiritres. Experimentation has never sounded so heavy, or solid, or even heartfelt.

Ronan certainly paints us a picture in this, his debut EP, 'Prolongez La Magie'. A walk through the many planes of contemporary and historical forms of techno, Ronan has been busy taking apart ideals and values of the genre, only to collect all the pieces up into a series of walkways through distant realms and fantasies. The music is utterly compelling, beats and tones and pads together, bound by a indescribable energy that binds it all together. The listener is only too happy to keep their eyes and ears open as they traverse a landscape filled to the brim with various scenes, rich narratives, and earthly yet metallic tones. These combinations were made possible by a mind willing to take time to assess and curate their sounds, and within this EP we see every little level of detail thought out and considered. Its maximum potential released. Every single piece made to work as part of a whole and not to over shadow its brothers and sisters. So, with that in mind, lets get into this.

Up first comes 'Internal Revolution'. We are greeted by kicks that move between the lines, as densely layered sounds flood the middle ground. Little variations move from above the sea at times, but their place is always perfectly considered. The tones move down and around, as a killer bass line awaits its turn to come into play, adding a proper UK bass element to the track. The density pulls away, as a more melodic series of keys comes into play, the drums continuing on their journey through the motions. This breakdown keeps on going, before the drums switch up, moving towards a more straight up beat, the switch up so beautifully done, the build up immense. The blend relied completely on the introduction of melodic elements, making it so subtle that if you blink, you miss it entirely. Everything falls away for a moment, before everything comes back in, with a deep deep pad coming in the background, following that same old 90s chord progression we all know and love. It just moves the tracks to enormous heights. Brilliant. Next comes 'Tracheal Impulse', that begins with the bending of sounds combined with little hi hats and deep bass booms. Little sequences and lines abound, adding to the complexity of sounds that burst forth from this most sonic of experiences. Kicks join in, as the filtered drums move in and out of time, waiting their orders. The switch up again is so gradual, the drums remain consistent, as hums of synths purr away in the background. A pull back moves the drums up once again, chugging away to the heart beat of life, their presence very much the focus of the tune. Its all about those little tones in the background, little pads and noises that generate hairs to stand on end. Glorious stuff!

Next comes 'Surface Drive'. The claps and drums remain sparse, with enormous amounts of space left to fill. And what might fill that space, you feel? well of course, the introduction of an arpeggio synth line from fucking heaven, of course. Tonally excellent, sonically perfect, this line dominates the space, adding weight and emotion to the track. The drums respond to its presence, adding in hats, as the track gains traction, A low end reverb synth just adds to this tracks overall brilliance, and it hasn't even gotten going fully yet. The track builds and builds, the intro still seemingly not over yet, but Ronan just keeps the fire burning. The drums fall away, and a key line emerges from the deep, rises up high, then signals in the best transition of this record. The key line then takes its journey down, and down, and down again, the track now in full swing. How excellent is this? a truly remarkable tune, seriously. It's not done yet, as the tones more through one final movement, with the intro of some soft pads, as the arpeggios move in the background. These pads give the track one final lease of life, as it winds down in energy. If there was ever an electronic track that displayed an understanding of movements, of a journey through tone and texture, this is definitely the one. Finally, to finish up, 'Cellular Matrix' comes into play. The kicks remain true, as high end synths chime away on top. The patterns rapidly add traction, with little cymbals and hats coming into play, as underneath you can hear the imminent release of acidic squelches. The drums are sublime, with little fills and breaks adding to the intrigue. After a brief interlude, it all comes back into play, the intermittent layering of sounds contributing to an aesthetic of sonic excellence. This track pretty much sums up Ronan and his approach to making tunes, a deft hand who reads between the lines and always has an ear to composition, introductions and understanding of tones. The balance is near perfect.

An EP that remains one of 2019's best, this has it all. Ronan crafts and curates a variety of vibes, but a vibe that has consistent elements across the board. From his inventive use of drums, to his layered approach to song making, the tonal adventure never ends. His vision is one of enduring brilliance, where the listener is allowed to escape into his masterfully crafted world, one filled with life and on the other hand one filled with the unknown. Alien like objects that just cause intrigue at every turn. A stunner, pure and simple.

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