Record Review – Thorny – Flood

Composed and performed on synthesizers and processed bass guitar, Thorny’s Flood is a tense wash of evocative soundscapes that pulses and writhes across the face of an unsuspecting landscape. Not surprising then that Flood is a sonic journey born from the depths of central Vermont’s devastating floods in July 2023.

JD Ryan says it best when he says that Flood reflects the duality of nature—its splendor and wrath—encapsulating the raw power, the ruin, the sorrow, and ultimately, the resilient spirit of hope. Flood manages to capture this sentiment perfectly without the use of a single sample of falling rain or rolling water, a literal aspect that takes away from the creativity too often, JD Ryan doesn’t indulge that tired ambient music trope. In fact, he took the hard road: Building that flow into the compositions from the ground up – You just listen and you can hear the unyielding fluidity, as sound is possibly the only thing that can move, with the flowing, forward-moving urgency of water.

Flood is a wholly original work and one where JD Ryan has created his own unique and moving sonic vocabulary. Never one to miss the opportunity for a pun, I dare say the floodgates are open on JD Ryan’s unique musical vocabulary. Fans of Steve Roach’s more earthy soundscapes and VidnaObmana’s early works will truly enjoy Flood. 

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Matt Borghi
Ambient Soundbath