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

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Martin Gordon - God's on His Lunchbreak (Please Call Back) – Now that bassist Martin Gordon has established himself across two creditable solo records together with a crackshot band that suits his clever muse, it’s clear that he has some more pop rock damage...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues