Denver’s rising producer reveals the tracks behind his futuristic club sound: finding a thread between Steve Reich, Alice Coltrane and more.
A product of Denver, Ryan McRyhew’s introduction to the world actually had a lot more to do with Chicago, where he found himself in 2011. Although he’s since returned to Colorado, there’s no question that his 2014 debut LP, Death After Life, along with the trio of self-released EPs that preceded it, owe a heavy debt to the Windy City and its rich legacy of dance music. At the same time, McRyhew’s work as Thug Entrancer isn’t merely a recycling project. Much has been written about his experimentation with juke and footwork, but his sound also incorporates elements of vintage house and acid, resulting in a uniquely machine-driven outlook that crosses genre borders and defies easy categorization. This makes him a natural fit on Oneohtrix Point Never’s Software label, which issued Death After Life and will also be releasing his 2016 sophomore full-length, Arcology. The new album finds McRyhew expanding his vision even further, moving away from footwork and embracing techno while ambitiously crafting a narrative of an imagined alien colony existing between the fabric of known and unknown worlds. Many artists are said to exist in their own universe, but in the case of Thug Entrancer, he seems especially determined to make it happen.