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Ruins – Hyderomastgroningem

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I ordered this disk back in Jan. I had ordered the Boredom’s Super AE in the same shipment though and so the order didn’t arrive till last week. At that point I was in the middle of a basic rock kind of kick and so I put the two albums on hold untill I was more prepared to take them in. Apparently, that day is today.

I’m listening to this album for the first time right now. The album opens with an interesting short little piece (Hyderomastgroningem) that’s acctually starts off as quite a funky little number. Not what I expected at all from the heros of japanese prog/noise. Then comes the turn on a dime time change and the whole thing starts to quickly shift in and out of moods, sometimes returning to the original phrases to ground the piece before shifting into a different area. The whole thing doesn’t loose focus though, and none of the track seems out of place. The opening track quickly cements that this is going to be an experience like none other. Not bad for a minute and 25 seconds.

The second song is much more like what I expected. The drums and bass play a precise arrangement. Or acctually two arrangements. After a short intro these two pieces come together for a short period before dropping out, and bringing the band’s lyrics forward.
All lyrics are written in a language that the band made up, reminescent of Eye’s vocal/sreaming, but a little less intense. Not to say it isn’t effective though. Since I don’t speak Japanese the lyrics have the same effect as if they were acctually japanese.
After the opening salvo of chaotic playing, the band vaults back in forth between a slow laid back sound where the vocals slide across fuzzed out bass and delicate drumming, and a catchy snappy chrous that brings the drumming up in the mix and pushes the vocals into doing a little jig. The song then slips into a funky little bridge as the laid back fuzzed out bass is propelled forward by an increased intensity in the drumming, before it drops back into the laid back figure and fades out.

Third song is short and noisey.

Economic Mond Possa is hard to describe. Needless to say it solidifies the band’s modus operandi of introducing two juxtiposed sections of music and then jumping back and forth between the two of them untill the pieces, which originally feel incompatable, feel perfectly natural next to each other.

Good noise/experimental music will redefine how you perceive music. This is good noise/experimental music.

Instead of hitting every song here, how about I just keep the window open and jot down notes as things grab me.

One of the great things about the Japanese underground is how dense the songs can get. Zurna Taksim is 35 seconds long, and there’s about six cool little fragments that any other band would have felt forced to turn into a whole song. Ruins though drops the fragment and then moves on. Perhaps they touch on it again later. But, they don’t seem to feel the need to expand on it.

Gravestone has an interesting gimmick of tieing the bass and the vocals together through out the piece. Each mirroring the other. The first section of the song is all energy as the drums propel the fragment along. Then the drums drop down to a laid back vibe and the bass/vocals follow suit. The drums are deffinetly driving this piece and its done masterfully. Switching back and forth effortlessly with just two beats to join the two vibes. It fits together seamlessly.

Pontemcorary Music #2 is an interesting little monster. It starts with a 30 second noise intro before falling into it’s dualism. One a typical noise piece that’s only a few seconds long. The other a hauntingly delicate vocal with a xylaphone sounding background accompined by a bass that mimics the vocal. This dualism lasts for about 45 seconds before returning to the opening piece to play the song out on. The song is short. I almost wish it has been longer.

And now, at the end of my first full listen through, I’m impressed. Sections of the album I found myself listening to a couple times before moving forward. Other times my interest waned. Right now, I prefer their instrumental stuff. But, I’ve found that my opinion of the bands in the Japanese underground changes with my moods. When I first heard Melt Banana and The Boredoms, I wasn’t impressed. Later, when I listened to them in the right frame of mind, I was blown away.

I had expected something in my mind, and was giving something else. Reminescent of what I had expected, but also very different. I need time to difest this album and learn to appreciate it on it’s own terms. I need to take the time to understand Ruins’ musical language. Only then will I be able to truely give me thoughts on this album. I’m willing to bet though, that my current enjoyment of the album will turn to a love of it.

Written by Matt

February 28th, 2003 at 3:23 pm

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