Music

Introducing Ryan Hemsworth

Unfortunately there’s no relation to Aussie hotties Chris and Liam, but this Hemsworth is a young producer who’s making big waves in the indie electronic scene.

Hailing from the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, twenty-something producer/DJ Ryan Hemsworth combines the angst of hip-hop and the slick sounds of ‘90s R&B with sample-based electronica, creating a new brand of innovative club music. The result is a hazy and intoxicating cloud of ambient electronics, notably influenced by the muggy shroud of Clams Casino, laidback vibes of Shlohmo and nuances of grime and trap.

Ryan Hemsworth

Lay down dem beatz Ryan Hemsworth. You’re the only one who can make our fantasies real.

Stumbling upon Ryan Hemsworth’s unofficial remix of my favourite song ever on Majestic Casual in 2012 was my gateway into the world of electronic producer/DJs. Smoother than a caramel latte with an extra shot of caramel, Hemsworth’s remix of the ascendant Frank Ocean’s hit single is a delicate output of silky synths and languid, percussive beats. It then rises to a crescendo two and a half minutes in with an arpeggiation of twinkling synths. Marking the beginning of something special, the Canadian electronic musician began to blow up the Internet with his refixes and mixes.

Ryan Hemsworth’s short but prolific musical career began with his acclaimed debut Cover Yr Shame in 2010, following it up with EPs No Plans, A Way and Kitsch Genius. This was all done while studying journalism at Halifax’s University of King’s College. Impressed? We are.

Hemsworth’s first label release, 2012’s Last Words is a marriage of hip-hop and electronic dance music, part original works and part remixes by renowned producers Shlohmo, Supreme Cuts, Baauer and Sam Tiba and Canblaster.

Hemsworth’s music is oft classified as IDM – ‘intelligent dance music’ – and intelligent it is. The highlight of the EP is the Supreme Cuts version of Overthinking, an exhilarating journey across an explosion of disparate musical textures packaged into an elaborate four minutes and 51 seconds of musical rapture.

The East Canadian beatmaker has also produced a slew of remixes of artists from Lorde and A$AP Rocky to The 1975 and Backstreet Boys, qualitative proof of the diversity of his production skills. His music refuses to conform to one sole genre, or even a few, instead embracing a varied multiplicity across numerous genres and subgenres. One such exemplar is his take on Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness.

While everyone was going crazy over Cedric Gervais’ club anthem, Ryan Hemsworth’s version was making quiet but far-reaching waves in the blogospheres. Spacey beeps and otherworldly instrumentation echo over the subtle bassline Hemsworth constructs around Lana’s husky vocals. It’s a remix which does the original more than justice, a melancholy jam injected with trap and trill.

With his inimitable modern and emotive aesthetic, Ryan Hemsworth is a name that has become synonymous with versatility, eclecticism and a genre-spanning sound. He could’ve been another gorgeous Hemsworth brother, but to be honest, Ryan Hemsworth the Canadian producer is even better.

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