Colorado Producer Taps Into Chicago's Dance Music Legacy For Debut Album
By Katie Karpowicz in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 11, 2014 8:00PM
It doesn't always have to be Chicago artists advancing Chicago's music scene. You don't have to be a Cook County native to have a passion for all of the musical influences it pumps out each year. We assume this must have been the thought process behind Denver, Colorado producer Thug Entrancer's—real name Ryan McRyhew—move to the south side of Chicago in 2011.
McRyhew's relocation put him eye to eye with Chicago's dance music community, specifically its house and juke music. Today you can hear the result of this cultural immersion on Thug Entrancer's debut full length album Death After Life.
The album breaks an already compositionally simplistic style of music down further, with stand-alone, laser-like melodies dancing over basic percussion, laying McRhyhew's influences bare. But rather than sounding like a reproduction of '80s dance floor classics, Thug Entrancer takes these dance beats to deeper, darker corners of the genre than his predecessors. The notable presence of juke beats smattered throughout the album, most present on its final track, add another layer of eerie electricity to Death After Life.
We're not saying this debut album is perfect. At times, it loses focus, spiraling towards the verge of becoming white noise. As a whole though, the album provides both the entrancing and energizing effects that properly done dance albums should. If nothing else, it's wonderful to see and hear that a type of music founded in our city more than a quarter century ago is not only still alive but evolving thanks to a new crop of eager producers.