SORBET is the new project from drummer and producer Chris W Ryan; his debut EP under the SORBET name, Life Variations, is a navigation through the key stages of life over three tracks in a suite of more than 20 minutes.
Ryan states that the three tracks are borne from the same musical seed: “Every time I sat at the piano I played the same chord progression and it felt never-ending. It felt like I could play the same two chords for a lifetime”.
The EP evokes memories of mid-’80s happy synthpop but with reflective introspection, reminiscent of Bjork.
Lead single and opening track “Birth (My First Day)” is a celebration of beginnings: breakbeats and looping drums underpin vocal joie de vivre; the protagonist at the centre of the song becoming aware of birth and feeling alive.
Second track “Death (This Year I Died)” is the magisterial centrepiece of the EP: a 12-minute opus full of soaring and hypnotic synths harking to the foundation of exploratory electronica and how the experimentalism of this can lead to unknowing avenues of wonder combining both classical and contemporary parameters.
The third and final track, “Living/Dying”, is a coda with a summation of the same chord sequence; sparing and bracing, it reminds us that that which we are born with stays with us until the end.
This EP is both unique, haunting and rare to form this combination of electronic composition married with a faithfulness to the formation of classical music.