Before Sujo there was Vopat, a post-rock endeavor from Ryan Huber that exuded hints of the monstrous drone project that was to come. It’s been a while since the former beast reared its not-so-ugly head. Turbide is a celebration of that sound: rediscovered tracks from 2008 updated for the brand new Olympic year.
It’s interesting to hear the tendrils of future sounds coexisting with the old. As the opener, “Methalyne Dreams”, descends from its shoegazey high, it lands in a bale of distorted drone. The next piece begins in a haystack of unyielding sound. When listening, one wonders where post-rock might have gone if it did not abandon its dronish siblings to other sonic fields. Might it have possessed a bit more bite? Would the combination have led to a more unique patina?
For most of its brief span, Turbide flows smoothly, sounding like a darker, murkier version of Hammock. Only once does it seem jagged. After the drifting ambience of “Springworm”, the title track enters suddenly enough to startle. ”Intuit” makes a strong recovery, and presents a homonym (“into it”). Post-rock + drone? We’re into it. By the time of Sujo, the latter will take the lead.
Huber’s guitar work is solid throughout, and the release as a whole follows suit. However, it can be extremely difficult to compete as a post-rock solo artist, and the artist’s strength continues to be his drone. Even as “Intuit” proceeds, one imagines it without overt melody or drum. Huber’s choice to switch genres was wise, but Turbide is a lovely reminder of his humble origins. (Richard Allen)