Glen Porter: Something Glue
Inner Current

Having begun producing music under the Glen Porter alias about four years ago, Huntington Beach, California native Ryan Stephenson now collects sixteen samplings of his dusted instrumental hip-hop style on Something Glue. Moody atmospherics, percolating beats, and melancholy folk ambiance come together in carefully-crafted pieces dominated by drums, guitars, and bass. Stephenson often stabilizes his folk-hop tunes from the top down with repeating melodies the anchors for the fulminating drum patterns that explosively slam and swing below, “Sunset” just one example of many. In contrast to the urban sound of most genre practitioners, Stephenson roots his hip-hop in the country, specifically the Old West. “I Alone,” for instance, approximates some demonic riff on a ‘60s Spaghetti Western soundtrack, especially when its snake charmer flute crosses paths with its twanging guitar army.

At the center of the Glen Porter sound is a sadness that's clearly audible in “I Sat Alone,” where the energized interplay of guitars and drums can't conceal the mournfulness of the song's melodies, and in the anguished voice samples of “She Cries.” Drenched in reverb, guitars cry a melancholic song in “And Death Of” while slippery beats and acoustic guitars rumble through “Awrld” like tumbleweed down a gravel road. A heavier attack lends “Glen Porter,” one of the album's strongest moments, an aura of dark portent as Porter alternates spoken word samples with aggressive beats and a dub bass line. Kudos for Stephenson for taking the road less traveled in his take on the genre. Though Something Glue's trip is darker and dustier than the instrumental hip-hop norm, it's compelling nonetheless.

July 2007