Ruins — Hyderomastgroningem
(Tzadik TZ 7202, 1995, CD)
by Steve Robey, Published 1995-11-01
With this album, this Japanese duo provides a pithy follow-up to their 1993 album Graviyaunausch. Ruins comes back in full force with 20 new compositions clocking in at nearly 70 minutes. Here, the epic monster pieces are punctuated with various short (many under a minute) experiments in rhythm, feedback, vocal gymnastics, and other absurdities. The longer pieces are surprisingly melodic in places, a welcome addition to the band's arsenal of sound. A good example is "Memories of Zworrisdeh," which takes a bass riff that almost sounds like horns and develops it into a satisfying avant tour-de-force. Elsewhere, five string bassist Ryuichi Masuda emotes an atmospheric, spacy solo in "Prrifth" while drummer / vocalist Tatsuya Yoshida sounds frighteningly like Vander / Blasquiz. More recognizable Ruins licks can be found on "Gravestone" and "Stone Eater" both of which are built around fuzz bass riffs that recall the 1992 Burning Stone. For its sheer volume of new material and ideas, this album of Japanese hard zeuhl makes for a very satisfying listen. Although they are too often compared to Magma, Naked City, and The Boredoms, it seems that Ruins have finally adopted some of the best elements of these bands and created a synthesis that sounds quite original.
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more