Ruins (Japan)


When boundary-crossing Japanese marginal music hit the creakingly stiff western music scene a decade or so ago, Ruins (from Koenji, Tokyo) were one of the most notable acts on this new front. Unfortunately, though still innovative and inspired, the duo have too often been overshadowed by more "fashionable" artists like Boredoms or Fushitsusha. Just listen to Ruins’ latest album Pallaschtom and you’ll find that the abundance of ideas in their music still causes shortness of breath in those with poorer health and a feeling of inadequateness in fitter indviduals, too.

Those not familiar with the group should keep a few things in mind: listening to Ruins requires an open mind, good nerves and keeping all the senses alert at all times. A sense of humour wouldn’t do any harm, either. Ruins embody the blessed union of technical skill and pure musical recklessness - no, sorry, MADNESS. Some traits in their music point to the darker names of European progressive rock like Univers Zero and Magma, but their gushing energy and compactness are pure 80's American hardcore punk. The telepathically seamless storm of notes that emanates from Ruins consists of spaghetti-like basslines, tempo changes stuck on permanent sustained fire, endlessly syncopated fierce rhythms and charmingly twisted vocal artistry.

Ruins are currently formed of drummer/vocalist Tatsuya Yoshida, an original member of the group, and bassist/ vocalist Hisashi Sasaki who joined a couple of albums ago. The Ruins discography consists of about twenty albums, some of which are co-productions with for example Derek Bailey, Omoide Hatoba and Ron Anderson. Yoshida has a number of side projects too, like Koenjihyakkei, Korekyojin, Musica Transonic and Mainliner - familiar names to all Japanophiles.

As Ruin’s excellent live album Refusal Fossil suggests, we can expect a maximum dose of uninhibited musical revelry that will activate brain cells and - no doubt about it - the more supple members of the audience to move their bodies, too. JMT

Saturday 10.11.2001 - Gloria
21:00-3:00 - Avanto-Club: Ruins