BEST OF 2017: 24. Bing & Ruth ‘No Home Of The Mind’

From the artwork inwards, this is a work of stately beauty. I mentioned recently how much I love the variety of steers I get from independent record shops and this was another one where I spotted it in a display rack and was intrigued. If one were to construct a Glass/Frahm continuum, then ‘No Home Of The Mind’ would sit somewhere in the middle. There’s none of the wilful eccentricity of some of the latter’s work here, but his lyrical intensity is definitely present. It’s not a record from which one cherry picks the odd track: full immersion is advised. Which is not to say it doesn’t work as background ambient music, but the deft ebbs and flows will be missed without focus. As music to get lost in during the wee small hours when, say, looking after a small child goes, this is quite special. It’s also music for journeys, specifically leaning against the train window with headphones in kind of journeys.

B&R

The seamless transitions between pieces mean you can get be consumed by it on repeat and quickly lose track of where it starts and finishes. David Moore, the man who is neither Bing nor Ruth but the central artist behind the name, has a knack for building refrains that hover above varying drones. On ‘The How Of It Sped’, the repetition is quite intense and the unsettling low groans below only serve to underline this point. ‘Is Drop’ rises up out of very little into a curious, rolling crescendo that morphs into something resembling a siren.

To All It’ captures the sensory disconnect of walking around a normally busy place in its quietest moments, everything seeming to occur a second or so after you are expecting. ‘Flat Line / Peak Color’ is, in contrast, a fairly nimble piece, gradually evolving into quite a presence, manipulating the listener’s emotional responses via intensity and pace. The pivot around the six minute mark is an odd release when it comes, but I’ll leave you to experience that without further description. The album ends with ‘What Ash It Flow Up’, a fine example of how the other musicians involved in the project combine delicately below the main event of the piano playing. Across just over six minutes, they often coalesce, with Moore’s keys only fleetingly rising out of the collective consciousness. It’s a fittingly subtle way to conclude a delicate but stirring album. Give it time to breathe and it’s sure to work its magic.

 

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