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Sorbet - This Was Paradise

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 9 / 6 / 2021

Sorbet - This Was Paradise
Label: Bureau B
Format: CD


Thought-inspiring combination of electronica and acoustic instrumentation on debut album from Sorbet, the project of Irish producer Chris W. Ryan, which reflects on climate change

Have you ever had the feeling, especially over the last year or so, that you are stuck between Paradise and Hell, always swinging between the two as a result of how we behave towards each other and our planet? For example, climate change is sliding us towards an almost literal Hell. Well, that’s exactly how Irish producer Chris W Ryan of Just Mustard, NewDad and Robocobra Quartet felt shortly he began releasing music under the moniker of Sorbet in 2020 with the express intention of cleansing the palate; both for the listener and himself. Sorbet is an outlet for Ryan to transcend freely across different genres. He loosely embraces electronic music but also classical and alt-pop, and nods to artists like Laurie Anderson, Arthur Russell, Kate Bush and David Byrne. The result of spending much of his time in the studio with other artists and having influences such as the likes of Brian Eno's 'Another Green World' is an album that takes you down a road where you have completely no idea where it is going. A bit like me in my youth with a compass! There seem to be no constraints or rules that you might usually have when you are trying to achieve or keep up with a particular type of sound. Although ‘This Was Paradise’ is largely electronica. it has some wonderfully creative instrumental ingredients in it. This new offering, an album scattered with suggestions of Milton's epic poem 'Paradise Lost', features a host of other musicians. Ryan is very accomplished artist, feeling equally at home as a composer than as a technician and can easily migrate from producing beats, writing lyrics, drawing up sheet music for classical musicians to EQ'ing snare drums. He is just as adept working within collaborations and this new album includes vocal features from Maija Sofia, Mark McCambridge (Arborist) and Micheal Keating (Bleeding Heart Pigeons). The lead single taken from the album ‘I Heard His Scythe’ features Maija Sofia's musical backing that nods to Kate Bush's 'Watching You Without Me'. There is no greater an example of this album's combination of electronics and more conventional instrumentation than that which can be found on its closer ‘Hell’, which showcases Ryan's ability to use keys and a string quartet in equal measures resulting in something rather special. It balances between electronic and acoustic composition: to highlight the natural world and humanity's imprint on it. There are twenty artists credited on the back of the sleeve including seven strings players and five electronic musicians as well as four engineers. It’s a special piece of work well worth a listen. Marvellous!

Track Listing:-
1 (Paradise)
2 Only for the Young
3 The Candle
4 (Purgatory)
5 Beaming Signals
6 Born Purple
7 I Heard His Scythe
8 Kettle Boil (Disobedience)
9 The End of Time
10 (Hell)

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