Styles: Alternative Pop/ Rock, Prog-Rock/ Art Rock, Noise-Rock, Avant-Garde, Avant-Prog, Post-Rock/ Experimental, Experimental
Ruins (Tatsuya Yoshida (drums/vocals) and Hisashi Sasaki (bass/vocals)) plays a unique form of manic and twisted progressive rock for these millennial times. This duo's compositions are complex and can be disorienting to any listener who is accustomed to less innovative, dynamic, and demanding musics. Yoshida, the founding member of Ruins, formed the band in 1985. Since that time, there have been a number of different bass players, including Ryuichi Masuda, Hisashi Sasaki, and Kimoto Kazuyoshi. Bandleader/drummer/singer Yoshida credits such diverse influences as progressive rock stalwarts Magma, classical composers such as Chopin, and traditional throat singing from Tuva. Though hints of these and other influences (e.g. Bill Bruford, Rush, Pink Floyd, Gong, King Crimson, Magma, Yes, and Genesis) often come through in the Ruins sound, there is no mistaking them for anyone else. Many of their compositions employ odd time signatures, sudden tempo changes, and passages of heavily processed noise. The bass, which unlike most has six strings, is often threaded through various effects. Both members of the band sing vocables that complement one another. These vocables are meant to be nonsensical and that's how they sound and are usually improvised, as are portions of their songs. Their overall sound is chaotic yet precise, noisy yet harmonious, catchy yet repelling, frenetic yet disciplined. As if the demands of Ruins were not enough, both Yoshida and Masuda keep themselves busy with various musical side projects (e.g. Vasilisk, YBO2, Men of the Continent Versus the Mountain Women). From time to time, Ruins will collaborate with others. These people have included saxophonist/producer John Zorn, keyboardist Kenichi Oguchi, vocalists Eleonola Emi and Aki Kubota, the acrobatic punkers Schlong, Kazutoki Umezu, producer Steve Albini, and guitarists Derek Bailey and Jason Willet. Ruins have many releases in the form of singles, collaborations, and full-length CDs. Among these full-length albums are Stonehenge (1990), Burning Stone (1992), Refusal Fossil (1997), and Symphonica (1998). Pallaschtom followed, comprised of three tracks: a classical music medley, a hard rock medley, and a progressive rock medley. They were critically celebrated and found time to release a compilation of their rareties, titled 1986-1992, in the spring of 2002. Several months later, Tzomborgha appeared.
-John Vallier (All Music Guide)