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‘Ironside’ is Ruby Rushton’s most complete work to date and was recorded over a 2 day session at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. It sees the band continuing to push boundaries, and lead the way, with this new genre defying recording. The quartet’s fresh, high energy sound is rooted in the spiritual concepts of John Coltrane and Yusef Lateef, paying homage to The Headhunters and Weather Report heyday, whilst still adopting influences from hip hop, Afrobeat and the UK underground culture.

”Ironside” - meaning someone who is “courageous and possessing great physical and mental strength” sums up the Ruby Ruston journey so far. A personal, against the odds journey, that required Tenderlonious starting a label, 22a, back in 2013. Nobody much cared about jazz back in 2011 when the first Ruby Ruston album (‘Two For Joy’) was recorded, so the 22a platform was built, a home for friends and members of the family to release music from. Fast forward to 2019 and the jazz landscape is looking a whole lot healthier.

The album’s title track embodies its meaning more than any other track on the album. A highly technical, jazzy jungle mover, held down by Tim Carnegie’s drums and Tenderlonious’ expeditious flute solo. ”The Return Of The Hero” nods most explicitly to the ever-present flute hero Yusef Lateef, the prancing dance of “Eleven Grapes” builds a locked groove perpetually upwards in spirals of dizzying frency, whilst “Triceratops The Caller” evokes alternating contributions from 4 Hero’s sampled breaks, J-Dilla’s loping beats and Lonnie Liston Smith’s cosmic keys, all of which coalesce in a perfect, joyous blend. The solemn beauty of “Prayer for Greenfell” is a respectful and dignified memorial, befitting of the magnitude of many lives stolen and “Pingwin VI” is dedicated to another hero of Tenderlonious - the Polish Jazz legend Kristof Komeda.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Ruby Rushton's been at the forefront of the UK jazz scene since 2015 and is storming ahead with a unique all-encompassing mixture of jazz, Afrobeat and hip hop. Ironside does not disappoint, high energy and instrumentally a masterpiece in itself.

TRACK LISTING

One Mo’ Dram
Where Are You Now
The Target
Return Of The Hero
Eleven Grapes
Lara’s Theme
Prayer For Grenfell
Ironside
Triceratops The Caller
Pingwin
VI (Requiem For Komeda)
Lara’s Theme (Alternate Take)**
Where Are You Now? (Alternate Take)**

** CD Only

Ruby Rushton

Trudi's Songbook: Volume Two

    Tenderlonious led jazz outf it Ruby Rushton drop their second album of 2017. Following on from the success of ‘Trudi’s Songbook: Volume One’ the band are back with their highly anticipated ‘Volume Two’. Comprised of a further six cuts the listener is treated to another journey through modern day jazz!

    Stand out tracks include 'Tisbury Truckin', which is a stunning opener! Starting with an atmospheric soundscape it unexpectedly drops into a neck-snapping hip-hop groove with a punchy melodic line before effortlessly sliding into an up-tempo, afro-beat inspired rhythm with strong solos from trumpet and keys in tow. “Song For Christopher” is a heartfelt ballad, which begins with a touching flute solo and continues to take the listener on a journey through the emotions, ending in a crescendo of optimism - a fitting tribute to the late Christopher Rushton.

    ”Charlotte Emma Victoria” is another strong track and includes some tasteful sousaphone and trombone parts to add extra oomph to its bounce, accompanied by a soaring saxophone solo by band leader Edward Cawthorne (aka Tenderlonious). The album ends with a classic Herbie Hancock jazz-fusion standard, “Butterfly”, which the band handle with finesse. A fitting cover that I have no doubt would impress its original writers.

    ’Trudi’s Songbook: Volume Two’ is a fantastic album, which further solidifies Ruby Rushton’s place on the modern jazz scene. This is a must have album that would hold its own in any jazz enthusiasts record collection - make sure you check it out!


    TRACK LISTING

    Tisbury Truckin
    Song For Christopher
    Trudi’s Mood (Part II)
    Charlott E Emma Victoria
    Together At Last
    Butterfly

    The Ruby Suns

    Sprite Fountain

      The Ruby Suns, the band-ish pseudonym of nomadic Californian-New Zealander Ryan McPhun, return after four years with a brilliant and ambitious new record Sprite Fountain.

      It began in earnest upon moving to Oslo, Norway from Auckland in 2013's twilight with impending fatherhood tapping him on the shoulder. A slowly ripening thing, it was made amidst child rearing and touring with NZ pals Lawrence Arabia and remixing, recording and touring with Norwegian acts like Snasen, Heyerdahl and Beezewax.

      Having released on Sub Pop and Memphis Industries in the past, new independent album Sprite Fountain is a pithy nine songs running over thirty-three minutes, stylistically it's an amalgam of the 4 previous Ruby Suns records. Rhythmically and harmonically complex, McPhun's influences are eluded to like snatches of a jukebox heard across a busy motorway. The touchstones are brief - ELO for four bars, a hint of Julia Holter in an arrangement - before they disappear into a kaleidoscopic tapestry that reveals McPhun to be a singular savant hinted at by his diverse back catalogue.

      Though harmonious in macro, there is a mania within – a fitting analog to what is often the predicament of a new parent: constantly under-slept, delirious and confused yet somehow elated. Not to mention the matter of cultural isolation that comes with being an immigrant in a new country, and an antipodal one at that.

      McPhun has trouble relating to the 'Pram Gangs' he passes by on the street and grapples with Norway's political movements in 'Blåhvalene.' He then goes back to California with the Wilsonesque 'Blankee' - a Steinbeck referencing ode to his teenage surf break (Ventura Point) and the almost A Capella album closer 'King Cake,' citing McPhun's own brush with the law and the overextending slippery tentacles of the War on Drugs in the mid 90s. Elsewhere things get a little more upbeat. 'Gatrapa' is a tropicalia-induced, Siri Hustvedt-quoting epistle on the inexorable parade of time, and 'Tilt of His Hat' - a jovial but bumpy supplication to an overworked and overstressed loved one. 'K Rd Woody' recounts halcyon days on Auckland's Karangahape Road with it's transient dive bars, cheap late night eateries and pre-mixed drink of choice, the Woodstock bourbon and cola, while 'Waterslide' is a fuzzy cautionary tale of Primitivism gone awry.

      Sprite Fountain was made almost single-handedly by Ryan McPhun in Scandinavia. Beginning in an old schoolhouse in Asker, Observatoriet studio in central Oslo, and McPhun's home in Grünerløkka, Oslo. He then moved onto Spice Boys studio in Copenhagen, with finishing touches made in a friend's 18th century villa in Chelva, Spain. Live Ruby Suns member and long time sonic guru of McPhun's Bevan Smith (Introverted Dancefloor/Signer) visited Norway with his Eventide Harmonizer and assisted with the final mix of the record.

      It's a treasure box of potent ideas, discrete and often discreet. The record makes for an experience that is blissful, psychedelic and always totally surprising; with each subsequent listen revealing gleaming new attractions.


      TRACK LISTING

      1. Waterslide
      2. Blankee
      3. Pram Gang
      4. The Zipper
      5. Tilt Of His Hat
      6. Gatrapa
      7. Blahvalene
      8. K Rd Woody

      After her debut album Pith [KLP239], released on K, Emily Beanblossom of Ruby Fray spent the next two years touring the U.S., selling her handmade soaps and working on the bare bones of her next album to be released this fall: Grackle [KLP251]. Coming a long way from her debut album, Pith [KLP239], Ruby Fray's upcoming release Grackle [KLP251] blends Americana sweetness with sludgy dissonance. Emily and long time collaborator Nick Botka, teamedup with Pith producder, Ben Hargett, to record the album at Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, WA. Their newest recording preserves the playful jangly genre-bouncing enervation found in their previous workwhile insisting on a more disciplined approach to songwriting.

      The album opens with a slow synthesizer prelude "You Should Go", setting the tone for listless anthems characterized by Beanblossom's harmonies and hollers. "Vespers", a morning prayer, introduces a coy letter to a wayward sailor in "Photograph". Then, with a sharp twist of a post-modern dance beat paired with the tremolo of a Finnish lap harp, "Barbara" takes the stage to insert bitter anecdotes, and "Anthony" invokes a dark spaghetti western composition supporting Gregorian vocal harmonies. "It's Mine", with its trip-hop drum and bass vehemence, finishes into a chaotic degradation of off-kilter cello chords.


      TRACK LISTING

      1. You Should Go
      2. Carry Me Down
      3. Vespers
      4. Photographs
      5. The Grackle
      6. Barbara
      7. Anthony
      8. It’s Mine
      9. Reprise

      Friends and fans of The Love Language songwriter and frontman Stuart McLamb have learned to expect a lot, but rarely in a timely manner. Completing a triumvirate of spiritual transmissions spent lost (2009’s The Love Language) and found (2010’s Libraries), 2013’s Ruby Red exorcises the transient brilliance fostered by McLamb within the sheetrock walls of the album’s namesake artist space. Featuring over twenty musicians and straddling several time zones, The Love Language’s lone puppeteer borrowed heavier equipment, and held on to it longer. Initiated in a windowless unit at the fabled Ruby Red, several failed attempts and false starts at a songwriting spree landed McLamb and his engineer/case worker/boxing coach BJ Burton in Black Mountain, North Carolina, consuming every square inch of a carpeted bungalow located a few acres too close to their skittish neighbors. Soon after, Burton’s relocation to Minneapolis effectively thrust McLamb from their shared nest, helping Ruby Red discover its inherent propensity for flight. Ruby Red produces new standards for the Carolina pop songbook, finding The Love Language as an extroverted community art project made by responsible citizens of a loosely packed scene who know that McLamb will match whatever they contribute. The heartbreak is over. Now we’re getting somewhere.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Calm Down
      2. Kids
      3. Hi Life
      4. First Shot
      5. Golden Age
      6. For Izzy
      7. Faithbreaker
      8. On Our Heels
      9. Knots
      10. Pilot Light

      The Ruby Suns

      Christopher

        When The Ruby Suns’ main mover Ryan McPhun alighted in Oslo, Norway in the winter of 2010, he knew he’d found an artistic haven. Recently split from his long-term girlfriend and bandmate, on holiday from his adopted home of New Zealand, McPhun was ready for something new.

        He’d always been a musical wayfarer, collecting sounds and styles from his travels around the globe and depositing influences and ephemera into three knockout Ruby Suns albums (2006’s ‘The Ruby Suns’, 2008’s ‘Sea Lion’ and 2010’s ‘Fight Softly’). In Scandinavia - amidst its icy architecture and sky-high fjords, not to mention the indomitable gloss-pop that’s the region’s leading export - he discovered the inspiration for this album.

        The story of ‘Christopher’ mirrors McPhun’s own coming of age: after a childhood spent in nerdy isolation, hiding away in his bedroom with his guitar while his older sister hosted high school ragers in their parents’ Ventura, CA home; after leaving home and becoming a citizen of the world; after disengaging from the relationship that defined most of his adult life, McPhun has stopped thinking so much and joined the party.

        ‘Rush’ sets the process in motion, but of all the songs on the album, ‘Jump In’ encapsulates a carpe diem MO - “When you reach the end of the world,” McPhun sings in his tender falsetto, “don't wanna have no regrets and no penitence.”

        ‘Christopher’s opening song, ‘Desert Of Pop’ - recorded at a friend’s home studio in Oslo, floating on Nord modular synths and ecstatic dancefloor energy - details McPhun’s inebriated encounter with Robyn backstage at a music festival in Cologne, Germany. “Flower among the leaves is what you are,” he sings, his sheepish grin practically bursting out of your speakers, “cold glass of water in the desert of pop.”

        Anyone who has seen Emily Beanblossom perform has surely left entirely taken with her. As the lead singer of Christmas, a band whose unique style of psych rock made them a cult marvel, Emily sold out both shows and records, due in no small part to her captivating, cultivated persona and the rare power of her voice. A vagabond for our ilk, she has lived life on the road and in collaborations, drifting down the line until she was called back to her family farm outside Chicago, Ill. Here she paused to lay down the hollowed noise that would become Ruby Fray.

        Her premier album 'Pith' is a string of musical gems that range from harmonic americana and folk to shadowy psychedelia, united in their spectral chamber arrangements. Each of the twelve tracks on 'Pith' come from demos Emily has been keeping close, and showcase her varieties of influence. “And the Moon,” with its steady drum machine loop, eerie harmonies and mandolin strings stands apart from its follower, “Mint Ice Cream,” a playful Americana-style duet with Calvin Johnson. “Closed Eye” is the same, a drifting melody punctuated by tinny drums and fuzzy guitar strumming. But this is the beauty of Pith—like the single, “Let’s Grow Older,” it gambols, and then falls to despair and questioning, is both the blossom and the thorny edge.

        Ruby Fray is a dark star risen, and the power and soul of Emily’s voice changes all that it shines upon. Pith includes the talents of numerous Pacific Northwest masterminds: producer & engineer Ben Hargett (who recorded the Christmas LP), songwriting and production assistant Ian Van Veen (Legs The Crab, Georgy), and harmony/strings specialist Giselle Garcia. As per K / Dub Narcotic tradition, a number of artists from the K roster also play on Pith, including Arrington de Dionyso, Gordon Baker (Mailaikat dan Singa, Desolation Wilderness), Andrew Dorsett (LAKE, Desolation Wilderness), Angelo Spencer, Markly Morrison (LAKE), Jake Jones (Christmas), and Calvin Johnson. Quite honestly her vocals are so beautiful, you almost feel they’re being wasted on a raw punk band like Christmas. But then again Christmas is a classic punk band without a lot of nonsense and it’s Beanblossom’s vocals that make they’re music special. - Secretly Important, October 2011.


        TRACK LISTING

        1. And The Moon
        2. Mint Ice Cream
        3. Closed Eye
        4. What’s All This Talk
        5. Northern Washington
        6. Young Scholar
        7. Let’s Grow Older
        8. Jandk
        9. Penny
        10. Ohow
        11. Barren Hill
        12. Wilt Worker

        Simple and beautifully crafted acoustic songs with rich, clear vocals and
        haunting harmonies. Refreshingly original. The nearest you could get to
        this? – Possibly the music of Richard Hawley stripped down with a filmic
        feel that takes you from baking spaghetti western to frozen dark gothic.
        Some laments, some storytelling, observations of everyday people and
        consumerist society and a message of love. A charming complement to a
        weekend morning or life on the road...




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