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.
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more