“A couple of months ago, BBC Radio aired a Ryan Hemsworth track and beyond a little rambling about the naughty name of the compilation it appeared on (Dope Valley Fuck) they speculated about who he was, whether the vocals on the track were actually him or not, and surely were thinking to themselves how weird it was that his warm, funk, soul, and R&B infused jams were coming out of Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia. Little did they know, Nova Scotia’s the second most densely populated province in Canada, and its capital Halifax is more populous than Pittsburgh. His debut reflects the same intersection of culture that occurs in any reasonably cosmopolitan locale, though we tend to think of Ryan’s work as being particularly exemplary, giving nods to and sampling a menagerie of contemporary musicians, referencing internet memes (track 5, “Benny Lava,” for example), synthesizing a distinctive, syncretic style and personal aesthetic.” – [^]LAND
His new project No Plans co-released via [^]LAND and The Villa is a lush 12-track instrumental album that features a number of samples – some you may be familiar with – from the likes of Cassie, New Order, Three 6 Mafia, Duke Ellington and even Nintendo soundtracks but before we delve right into this project, here’s what Ryan had to say about it.
“I’m hoping there’s cohesion in these tracks. Some of them were made weeks ago, some were made in 2010, but they’ve all stood out as one big thing I want to give to everyone. The concept behind No Plans references a few of concerns: having no plans with school, no plans with jobs, and no plans for the future. I’m hoping these songs can help you forget about those concerns, at least for 30 minutes of your day.” -Ryan Hemsworth
This next track “Good Things Can Never Last” – the same track BBC Radio 6 aired from the Drop Valley Fuck compilation a few months ago – starts out with a 80’s Funk/Soul type of sound and smoothly progresses on with a few drum loops and plucked guitar strings to create a beautifully mellow groove. This song takes No Pain a slight turn away from being solely an instrumental album as it samples vocals throughout the song (I’m not quite certain, but I believe it could be a sample) but we’re certainly not complaining. The lyrics are delivered with lush vocals and the song title is self-explanatory, and if asked to describe this song in one word, smooth would be it. I really like the addition of this genre to the project because it gives it yet a broader reach and in our case, I hope the good things do last.
Just in case you can’t quite place why this next track “Benny Lava” sounds too familiar, I’ll explain why. The song originally titled “Kalluri Vaanil” comes from an original Indian flick from a few years back. However, the song was uploaded to YouTube and tagged “Benny Lava” complete with incorrect but highly amusing lyrics which instantly made it an internet sensation. Ryan’s version steers not too far from the original, starting off with a triangle percussion mixed with drums and other traditional Indian instruments. The beat breaks down at about the 1:20 mark with yet more cultural instruments coming into play. Keeping with the authentic vocals of the song seals off the harmonious instrumentals and adds that extra cultural feel to make for quite an enjoyable listen even without an understanding of the lyrics being said.