Marshfield, Wisconsin-based producer and musician Ryan Summers has been working on various projects for the past two decades, more recently as part of the Americana collaboration Midwest Soul Xchange with his friend and Arizona-residing musician Nate Cherrier. This year Summers decided he needed a change of pace, so has created and released an ambient electronica collection in the form of F51.01. Summers’ aim was to craft soothing, yet still stimulating soundscapes to ease his chronic insomnia. The album’s title takes its name from the medical code for insomnia.
Summers’ compositions, which were achieved by re-amping digital synths in real life spaces (like a former church converted into an arts center) and adding a bit of micro-tonal experimentation, are meant for relaxation, but can be played at any time.
From the slow, but brightly heightened glide of LP-opener “Beneath The Ice” and the wavering dial drone of “Power Relay Unit” to the hushed sonic hiss and reverb strings of “Well Tuned” and the tinkling, echoed chimes of “Music Box”, Summers creates hypnotic refrains that engage the brain.
Not every note evokes a calm aural landscape – this is not New Age music, but more an exploratory journey through the labyrinth of the mind that will quiet other thoughts while piquing the interest of the ear.