When Prefix premiered Ryan Evans’ EP Yurei back in 2013, the New Jersey based artist was still comfortable being labeled a producer, with memorable collaborations with rappers BOLO NEF and Pepperboy on his resume. Now, four years and several projects later, Ryan Evans cannot so easily fall under that umbrella term associated with the artists who sometimes have people rap over their music.
With his latest album, The Key Seeker, music itself wasn’t going to be enough for this project. With his background as a graphic designer and his passion for storytelling, Ryan Evans sought out to create a multi-sense experience and just a few minutes on the project website and you’ll see it was a success.
Told in the vein of classic fairy tales, the piece is inspired by Arthurian legend, his favorite GameCube games (*cough* Zelda: Wind Waker *cough*), the timeless works of Studio Ghibli, and spiritual texts like Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. The story follows a young traveler by the name of Siphter on his journey of discovery. Sonically the influences are as diverse and difficult to track: on Bandcamp, the genre-less fusion is forced to define itself with the tags ambient, electro, experimental, hip hop, and my favorite of all, New Jersey.
When asked about what inspired the sound, Evans was tough to commit to a particular artist but did admit that: “To be honest not so much sound but how Coloring Book seemed to be all encompassing genre-wise, it blew my mind. So definitely Chance.” He also said that he was listening to a lot of LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, Dan Deacon as well as a ton of film scores during the recording.
The carefully color-curated GIFs set this project over the top with images that often look like a medieval mystical take on “Hotline Bling.”
While Ryan Evans does have the project on his Bandcamp, the full experience is hosted on TheKeySeeker.com – waste no more time reading this and head over to the site to becoming one with “our hero,” Siphter a.k.a. The Key Seeker himself.