Exposé Online banner

Ruby — Altered & Proud (The Short-Staffed Remixes)
(Thirsty Ear THI57106.2, 2001, CD)

Ruby — Short-Staffed at the Gene Pool
(Thirsty Ear THI57101.2, 2001, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2001-12-01

Altered & Proud (The Short-Staffed Remixes) Cover artShort-Staffed at the Gene Pool Cover art

A whole new genre has developed since about 1995, one that consists basically of a soft-voiced female singer and a programmer / keyboardist / arranger. It probably started with Portishead, then grew to include Lamb, Mandalay, and numerous others, all usually classed as trip-hop. Ruby adds a new twist to the style, supplementing the vocals, beats, and jazzy fills of trip-hop with some flavors from the art-rock area. Vocalist Lesley Rankine is the only constant element. She is joined on most tracks by multi-instrumentalist Mark Walk, and on others by Scott Firth (bass and guitar) and her own instrumental playing. Throughout the songs are lyrical gems; my favorite is in “Fuse Again”: “If you think you know the rules – think again.” These are all great songs imaginatively arranged, full of clever touches – a vibraphone solo here, a quick break with screwy guitar noises there, and subtle treatments on Rankine’s voice all around. The remix CD presents eleven different takes on seven of the tracks from the original, all interesting and valid in their own right, not mere strings of dance floor clichés. Perhaps most notable is Kid 606’s wigged-out version of “Lilypad” with its hyperactive bleeps and skittery beats. Get the studio album first, and if you love it like I do, you’ll want the remix disc for different perspectives on the great tunes. Ruby’s music is probably a little more pop than most of what Exposé covers, but music this good should make boundaries irrelevant.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 23, 2001 releases

Related artist(s): Ruby

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Robert Fripp String Quintet - The Bridge Between – Robert Fripp's latest release, The Bridge Between, is credited to 'The Robert Fripp String Quartet,' comprised of Fripp, Trey Gunn on Stick, and The California Guitar Trio. The album is a...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues