Who Are You? seems an appropriate title. E Ruscha V perhaps asking himself this question out loud. As the music contained on the record fractures into multiple reference points / inspirations / personalities.
As a whole, the album`s a move away from the frenetic dance floor trips of Ruscha`s Secret Circuit guise. A return in someways to previously explored musical avenues. Both the early solo work collected on Tropical Psychedelics, and the collaboration with Thomas Bullock as Laughing Light Of Plenty / The Naturals. Folktronica. I`m not sure where that term comes from, but I saw it somewhere recently and it kind of fits. A spaced cowboy out in orbit. Country`s hijacking of Hawaii`s pedal steel is present throughout. Brightblack Morning Light. If they were electronic. Amid digitalised birdsong. The synthetic splashing of a babbling brook. The Alice In Wonderland mushroom tea whimsy of the Brothers Ives` Woo. Mixing up marimba, melodica, sax, sighs, and wordless vocals. But Who Are You? is more than that.
Gravity Waves has Christian Fennesz` sea of processed sound carried on a lazy tide of slack key guitar, drum machines and dubwise delay (again touching on Ruscha`s past – as a member of L.A.`s legendary Dub Club). The solo piano piece, Lights Passing By, creates a shimmering wall of reverb. Each note hovering in the echo of its predecessor. Rivalling “classics” (that I always cite) by Harold Budd, John Foxx, and Brock Van Wey. In The Woods is Jazz Rock set in electric fizz. Recalling Rain Tree Crow`s sonic approximation of a Mid-Western dustbowl, Mark-Almond`s The City, and the whispered intimacies of Talk Talk`s Spirit Of Eden. By contrast, Endless Sunday is almost Deep House. Vocoder-ed, Fusion-bass-ed. Grooving and transcendentally-synthed. Carried Away is an Eno-esque instrumental. Accomplished, complex, and sophisticated. Replete with axe-work that pays homage to Frippertronics, and the mighty Phil Manzanera. Hostess as otherworldly as a Czech Art movie score. Where a music box lullaby is over / under wound. Unsure if it should speed up or slow down. Singing Primal Scream`s Shine Like Stars, while its clockwork malfunctions. The closing All Of A Sudden casts beauty from harps? dulcimers? and tabla. Music as timeless and precious as Bim Sherman`s parting acoustic miracles.
You can order a copy of Who Are You? directly from Beats In Space. Part of the proceeds will go to Waves For Water, helping to provide clean water to those in need.