Halftribe is the pseudonym of Ryan Bissett, a producer based in Manchester, England. This is his second full length album on the Spanish Archives label, but my first experience with Ryan’s music.
Halftribe’s sound seems equally influenced by dub techno as the current lo-fi ambient sound. Most of these tracks are heavily loop-based, but they don’t use toe-tapping or dance-able rhythms in the traditional sense. Instead, they suggest beats with a sound that often lacks a kick dream or a steady pulse. The types of dub effects often used in electronic music are here, but they are employed sparingly.
In terms of the sound palette, it is varied and uses a variety of ingredients such as: looped crackles, piano melodies, dub echoes and filters, hazy and misty washes, backwards looped sounds, hissing pulses, field recordings of human voices, processed vocal melodies, ethereal and pad-like sounds, metallic clicks, lo-fi miniature synth melodies, plucked acoustic guitar, chirping birds, mechanical whirs, volume shifts, twinkling melodies, high-pitched feedback drones, and so on.
I will say that while listening to this album, one thing struck me: how vivid and colorful this type of music has become over the last fifteen to twenty years. Thinking back to the pioneers of dub techno, clicks and cuts, microsound, etc. I’m not sure they would have anticipated where we would be at by now with these sub-genres.
Although various influences are apparent on this album, it is far from generic though I wouldn’t say it necessarily breaks new ground either. It does have personality and emotion, which are key ingredients for successful music of this nature. Moreover, it is carefully crafted. I enjoyed this album quite a bit and will be watching Halftribe for future releases.
Daydreams In Low Fidelity is available from Bandcamp.