Keys, shakers. Electric piano, brass and flute. Tempo taking off with the high hat. Before being joined by the kick. One Mo` Dram has the vibe of a Harlem River drive. A stroll along The Thames then. Casting off care with a click of the heels, in the sun. Where Are You Now swings more modal. The flute fed through wah wah. Doffing its cap to Miles. Competing with the sax in feats of dexterity. Players taking turns to leap out of hooks, and into dazzling solos. Tongued grooves sometimes slowing to a loose Funk. Prayer For Grenfell travels from lullaby, to angry shout, and back again.
Ruby Rushton aren’t doing anything new here. The opposite in fact. They`re continuing a musical tradition, without the need for any modern frill. No sub-bass. No Footwork rhythm. Only on Triceratops is there a touch of Drum & Bass in the fills and rolls. Hip Hop head nod in the breakdown. Eschewing these “gimmicks”, perhaps, to demonstrate that their chops alone are enough to compare with past masters. Creating a timeless record in the process. The title track, Ironside, really is something. A credit to the production and engineering, as well as the musicians. Capturing a moment. You can hear the quartet’s joy of playing live as a collective coming through. Tearing free, to the best, the better, of their abilities. Urging one another on. Encouraging, challenging, pushing, stretching, testing, and learning.
From the outside its kinda mind-blowing to think that in six years 22a have come from short sketches of baked beats and loops, to this.
You can order a copy of Ruby Rushton`s Ironside directly from 22a. The quartet are currently on tour.
23rd April / Soup Kitchen / Manchester
24th April / Chameleio / Nottingham
25h April / Headrow House / Leeds
26th April / Jacaranda / Phase One / Liverpool
28th April / The Crescent / York