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“[R]eally outstanding; from...exquisite writing, to the production and the top notch performances, this is a wonderful new recording from the inimitable Billband. While many composers in this genre rely on the seductive rhythmic or modal qualities imported from pop music and minimalism for their allure, [Towards Daybreak] instead relies on a mastery of form and proportion.” [FULL ARTICLE] --Kurt Ellenberger

"Music as gritty and funky as Bill Ryan's seems to call for a new language to describe it…One could hardly imagine a more talented and versatile group of collaborators than Ryan's Billband, whose collective credentials in new music and jazz as well as more disposable musical genres ensures an ensemble that can turn styles on a dime. One might say that Ryan's music constantly threatens to burst at the seams, were those seams not so artfully structured. What keeps this group's debut collection constantly percolating is not merely the inspiration of the writing, but also the enthusiasm of the playing. Each track burns with all the visceral energy of a jam session, where musicians clearly feed off the energy of others and give back in hand. Rarely has music this earthy been so elegant." [FULL ARTICLE] --Ken Smith

“Terse, elegant motifs shift shape and move between constantly changing combinations of woodwinds and strings, usually pensive, often somber and occasionally building to moments of sheer horror. … That Ryan never lets the music become mawkish or sentimental is its strongest suit: subtlety and grace triumph despite all odds.” [FULL ARTICLE]

“[A] fine example of a post-minimalist/alt-classical chamber ensemble. … [D]irect and clear musical ideas well-paced and orchestrated for his mixture of performers. Even in his more driving works, Ryan has a delicate hand at orchestrating his ideas. Each instrument has not only its own musical space but also serves a vital role in creating a single ensemble sound.” [FULL ARTICLE] --Jay Batzner

“Bill Ryan is slow to release – his last album goes back several years – but if he has to take his time to come up with gems like Towards Daybreak, so be it. … [A]n easy listen that takes hold of your emotions, without overdoing anything, without playing it too sweet. It’s a masterpiece.” [FULL ARTICLE] --Francois Couture

"[T]he minimalist exactnesses in the opening tracks of Towards Daybreak are an expression of hesitancy ... a nice metaphor for the transformation effected by success or sunlight and not overworked or really too obvious. ... The best moments of the album come with nice, quiet, witty effects." [FULL ARTICLE] --Deanne Sole

"Bill Ryan's idea is rather simple: to write pieces using a single motif that will slowly evolve as it is being repeated over and over. Of course, it is one of the concepts at the heart of American minimalism (Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and Terry Riley's music, to mention but three). But Billband spins the idea on its head, giving it a funky, down-to-earth feel and, in the process, revamping it the same way L'Infonie had reinvented Riley's "In C" in the early '70s by adding a rock rhythm section to it…The music grooves on easily, hiding well its academic concepts under its beats." [FULL ARTICLE]

"Its sound world is fetchingly atmospheric…an infectious toe-tapping immediacy that imparts immense surface appeal to crafty inner workings…Performances are terrific. [Billband] play with a bright, compelling sound and exhibit machine precision tightness. Editing is flawless and sonics are wonderfully vibrant…Here is a disc that is a must for everyone, especially lovers of Downtown styles." --David Cleary