Bing & Ruth - No Home Of The Mind

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  • It was Matt Werth's good fortune that, in 2009, Brooklyn Phono shipped the wrong test pressings to his RVNG Intl label. He was instantly enchanted by the minimal yet evocative music of Bing & Ruth, an ensemble conceived by upstate composer David Moore. That particular album, City Lake, was released on Moore's Happy Talk label in 2010, but Bing & Ruth's breakthrough album, Tomorrow Was The Golden Age, came out on RVNG Intl. four years later. Come 2017, Bing & Ruth is on the renowned 4AD with their third album, No Home Of The Mind. Gone are the cellos that underpinned Tomorrow Was The Golden Age and the guitar, vocals and feedback that punctuated City Lake. Moore strips the sound back to the core of his group: the entwined bass of Greg Chudzik and Jeff Ratner, Jeremy Viner's winding clarinet lines, the subtle tape manipulations of Mike Effenberger and Moore's piano. Combining the beauty of Harold Budd and Terry Riley mesmerism, the piano resonates front and center on No Home Of The Mind. On the first few listens, one might think the album consists solely of Moore's undulating, sustained chord clusters, so closely do the other instruments shadow them. Among the coruscating piano lines of the stunning "Starwood Choker," you can just make out the dual bass and the slow, skyward arc of Effenberger's tape delay. "As Much As Possible" slows things down as Effenberger dabs washes of color into the open spaces between Moore's notes. Like the colors on the cover art, the album's individual pieces flow into one another. It's a blurring that might mirror the way in which Moore composed the album on his travels across the US, UK and Europe, writing it on 17 different pianos. At times, his playing reminds me of the sustained clouds that Keith Tippett conjured on his free improv solo piano albums, and Lubomyr Melnyk, whose style is speedy to the point of stillness. But there's a directness to Moore's playing, and his ability to summon infinite space in a matter of minutes, that sets him apart. No Home Of The Mind strikes a chord without uttering a word. And while it was composed across so many pianos—a Wurlitzer spinet in California, a nine foot-long Steinway D in Belgium, Sir Elton John's red Yamaha at London's Royal Albert Hall—Bing & Ruth make them all sing as one voice.
  • Tracklist
      01. Starwood Choker 02. As Much As Possible 03. Scrapes 04. Chonchos 05. The How Of It Sped 06. Is Drop 07. Form Takes 08. To All It 09. Flat Line/Peak Color 10. What Ash It Flow Up