Dana Ruh - Naturally

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  • It's a story often told that when artists decide to start making music for themselves rather than with a view to getting gigs, or when they begin to create free from the constraints of what this or that label may expect from them, they start to excel. That's exactly what happened with Germany's Dana Ruh. After years spent crafting functional but underwhelming minimal and tech house for the likes of Buzzin' Fly and Cocoon, she recently retreated into herself, only to resurface with a new, more personal deep house sound. The results come in the form of Naturally, Ruh's classy new full-length on Underground Quality. UQ boss Jus-Ed always brings a sense of serene and spaced-out futurism to his label. Ruh's shadowy new sound fits perfectly with that aesthetic. All of these tracks have swathes of humid headroom to drift about in. Most consist of little more than kick drums, wispy pads and seductive basslines. Ruh is at her best when working with the fewest elements, such as on the deeply enticing prowler that is "My Cave," or during the grainy dub caverns of "Dirty Egg." These are spacious tracks with subliminal rhythms that place you right at their pillowy core. This is not an album that needs to be dissected to be enjoyed: from start to finish it easily holds your attention. The rainy pitter-patter and looped vocal murmurs of "Solstice" make for an intimate opener that really pulls you in, and from there the grooves grow more strident and upright, peaking early with the sweaty, pumping house of "Got To Work." Carrying on in that direction could lead only to fatigue, so Ruh wisely pulls back and rebuilds with the deep, corrugated acid gurgles of "Education." It might sound clichéd, but this album proves in exemplary fashion that staying true to yourself really is the only way to go.
  • Tracklist
      01. Solstice (Intro) 02. Don't You Find Me 03. The Wish You Told Me 04. Go To Work 05. Education 06. Jammin 07. Just Don't 08. D's Interrupt (Dub) 09. Dirty Egg 10. My Cave 11. Train Ride To You