Pillow Queen & Ruin - Calling Me

  • A record made for dance floor spiritual revivals.
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  • On "Tunnel Vision," the A2 from Calling Me, the new EP from producers D. Tiffany and Vani-T's Pillow Queen project, vocalist Ruin opines for a "dance with no dogma" atop a sweaty breakbeat. The line is a citation from the work of dancer, musician and writer Gabrielle Roth, whose work uses dancing to achieve a trance-like zen—what she has called "a pure energy state." Although Roth's version of trance may be more museum gift shop "world music" than Global Underground, this longing for complete and total presence is familiar enough to anyone who has been to a really good party. It's also the thematic starting point for Calling Me as Pillow Queen and Ruin craft three odes to an imagined queer utopia where trance melodies, rubbery basslines and crisp drum programming fuse with unyielding dance floor spiritualism. Calling Me is not a record for the faint of heart—the swelling strings that start the ten-minute opus "Calling Me" are about as subtle as Paul van Dyk scoring Cirque du Soleil. But the melodrama is what makes it worth the price of admission. Once you get past the intro, "Calling Me" locks into a 118 BPM chug where the bongos, over-the-top chords and distorted vocals would likely get even the stoniest face in the clubs praying at the altar of club hedonism. Pillow Queen's previous releases were also pretty over-the-top, co-opting the faux spirituality of early '00s trance and progressive house into whirlpools of dance floor euphoria. But adding Ruin to the record ups the stakes, especially with the sexually explicit lyrics. That "Calling Me" isn't even the longest track on the record should hint at the scale the trio are working towards. Taking up a whole side of wax, "She's Hot Magic" on the flip doesn't even have a kickdrum until about three minutes in. Instead, Ruin quietly longs to find a touch to "run for not from" over plaintive, undulating chords, and delayed wooden clacks. When the catharsis of the squelchy, acidic bass hits a few minutes later, it's hard not get swept up in the equal parts spiritual and sensual magic they've created on this 12-inch.
  • Tracklist
      01. Calling Me 02. Tunnel Vision 03. She's Hot Magic