Melodrama, Beats, and Noise — Rykard MP3s

To listen to Beacon Radio by Rykard is to wonder if your Internet browser has multiple tabs or windows emitting audio simultaneously. Not a single track goes by without some incongruous melange occurring — such as the remote megaphones and clangy percussion of “Sulphuric Arqived,” or the canine grunts and distended orchestrations of “Orchids,” not to mention that latter track’s girlish laughter, which gives way to a steady, loungey beat. After a rough landing, the album opens (on “Return to Hewn”) with what could me mistaken for (or purloined from) ’80s new wave. And then, he’s off. What’s astonishing about the collection is that it never seems random. This is no mere radio-dial-spinning tomfoolery, even if a melody straight out of The Nutcracker (in “Javo Is Ded”) sits close by harsh white noise (the start of “Forget Me Ginny”). Perhaps what ties the work together is a regular return to antiquated, melodramatic forms (The Nutcracker has more in common with new wave than just velor uniforms with over-sized epaulets), filtered through a noisy sensibility, which in turn only serves to amp up the drama quotient.

The work isn’t available for streaming here, but it is over at the netlabel, where it’s also downloadable as a Zip archive. Particularly recommended is the album’s briefest track, “Walton Sky,” at a mere half minute a downtempo fusion of sinuous melody and thick, minimal-techno dub (the remainder of the tracks range in length all the way up to an epic 1:33)

More on Rykard, who’s based in Lancashire, England, at

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