Ruhe: Patriarchs CD-r (Eilean Rec., 2015)December 6, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
Glacially slow-moving sustain-heavy ambient piano melodies which flare up into soft yet dark static drone. Definitely a brittle, homemade feel to these recordings, especially the decaying tape manipulation. Very personal and intimate. On a few tracks, folky vocals call out under the piano haze, but they seem like they’re trapped in some sort of ember. Very subtle effects added to the piano, sometimes a few notes here and there seem to be playing backwards. Seems really basic and simple in some ways, but there really is a great deal of care put into the craft of these songs. Has some similar ideas/moods in common with Ian William Craig, the last Grouper album, or any number of current piano-based artists (Nils Frahm, Max Richter, etc.) but still clearly using its own techniques. “Guide” is maybe the most upfront lovely/sad piano melody. “Shelter” ups the static/hiss content considerably, although it fades away after a couple minutes, leaving eerie backwards loops. Then the hiss returns with more layers of snowflake-like pianotes (I meant to type “piano notes” but somehow I squished those two words into one and it fits somehow) along with sunken vocals. “Restoration” is another sort of underwater lullaby with delicate guitar notes joining the shifting pianos. Crickets join “Beams”, and the pianos feel like a single star shining incredibly bright in a sky under a field in the middle of a dark forest. The CD-r appears to be sold out, but there’s always Bandcamp for all your digital needs.