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.
Laughing Light Of Plenty / The Naturals
4 thoughts on “E Ruscha V / Who Are You? / Beats In Space”