Ruins
Mandala 2000


5.0
classic

Review

by Adash USER (43 Reviews)
June 8th, 2010 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is Drum & Bass

Drummers have been the butt of jokes for generations. De facto metronomes who could be replaced with an 808 without anyone noticing, let alone caring.
Yet there have always been exceptions to the rule, players who are stand out members of bands rather than just the pendulum swinging in the background. Bozzio, Mayer, Rich, Weckl - all names that spring to mind when discussing the greats of popular rock and jazz music. These are forward thinking players who embody the bands they play in and whose influence upon music is unprecedented.

So imagine my surprise when I descended into a dank basement in Hackney and heard a drum performance that could easily brush sticks with any of the above. A performance so intense, so mesmerising that it ranks amongst the greatest concerts I’ve ever attended. Jaws dropped from the moment Tatsuya Yoshida picked up his sticks, staying stuck to the floor for a whole hour whilst the Ruins back catalogue was dissected, decomposed and blasted out with inhuman precision, the stage empty but for a drumkit and a sampler.

Rewind 10 years. Tatsuya Yoshida and Sasaki Hisashi are the final incarnation of Ruins. Mandala 2000 is the climax of a 15 year career spent making some of the most ridiculous music ever put to tape – the magnum opus of a drum & bass duo whose work still sounds progressive today despite being recorded a decade ago. Recorded live, this is as raw as music gets. To those unacquainted with this sound – imagine a stripped DFA 1979 with slit eyes OD’ing on speed.

Technicality is the order of the day – off kilter rhythms, crushing breakdowns, interweaving solos that rival anything the western prog school can offer up.
And the best thing about it all? A complete lack of pretentiousness that is so unbelievably refreshing it makes me smile every time another astounding aural meltdown is thrown into the mix without any hint of show or fanfare.
These are two guys who could run rings around most other musicians playing ‘technical’ music, yet play with the punk ethos that passion is of utmost importance;
a far step from the wanton self gratification of countless prog artists.

The drum & bass onslaught is spiced up by yelped and shouted Vanderesque nonsensical vocals and an occasional violin that strikes a powerful contrast to the lower frequencies that are the mainstay of this album. Takes some getting used to, but you really couldn’t have it any other way.
A number of interludes and quiet jams break up the frenetic pace every now and again, oases of calm to shelter in for a few precious seconds before the next stretch of elemental fury is braved. You’ll need ears of steel to survive this aural journey, but thankfully it is as rewarding as it is exhausting.
Highlights include a breathtaking mashup of countless classical pieces into a minute long piece that never fails to astound, new takes on old tunes and various improvised pieces that stand as a testament to the phenomenal abilities of the pair.

Put simply, this is as good as prog music gets.



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user ratings (32)
4.3
superb


Comments:Add a Comment 
P13
June 8th 2010


1327 Comments


rep
Yoshida Tatsuya destroys every drummer I can think of, listen to Koenjihyakkei if you haven't already.

You did as good a job as you could have describing the album, so I'll just vote yes

Jruined
June 15th 2010


1308 Comments


Still haven't heard this. Ruins have a special place in my hear. First of all, they are just plain fun to listen to for all the reasons you give, and secondly they are the only Zeuhl type band that I've ever really been able to enjoy. I just can't get into Magma and such.

You rarely hear people having as much fun. I swear children laugh in distant lands when they start playing.



Adash
June 17th 2010


1355 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Went on a Yoshida binge recently and acquired pretty much all he's done, most of it being god

KoreKyojin if you can find it



And yeah. Everytime I listen to them I just can't keep a huge fuckin grin off my face

North0House
February 2nd 2011


1764 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This band is so cool

I want to meet their drummer.

Adash
February 7th 2011


1355 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

He's a beast, a genius, and quite small and unassuming - all he said the entire show was :



'Ah, sampla broken' and then proceeded to do an hour long polyrhythmic drum solo, bow, and run away

Adash
February 7th 2011


1355 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

He's a beast, a genius, and quite small and unassuming - all he said the entire show was :



'Ah, sampla broken' and then proceeded to do an hour long polyrhythmic drum solo, bow, and run away

DoubtGin
February 7th 2011


6879 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

only listened to one of their albums, but they rule



North0House
February 7th 2011


1764 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

They definitely do rule. I wish I could pick this CD up somewhere... I can't order anything at the moment.

balcaen
April 20th 2011


3183 Comments


i can't really get into this subjectively, but holy shit. musicianship.

Adash
April 20th 2011


1355 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

oi Sputnik wastemen time to get into Ruins

gypsyrick
May 31st 2011


242 Comments


I listened to this in its entirety in school today.. can't believe it doesn't get more attention.

Adash
June 2nd 2011


1355 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

everything yoshida touches turns to pure gold

twlight
December 2nd 2011


9031 Comments


so weird

twlight
December 2nd 2011


9031 Comments


but great Drum and Bass nonetheless

twlight
December 2nd 2011


9031 Comments


it is pretty mathy.... me like

Adash
December 2nd 2011


1355 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hahaha yes sputnik get on to some ruination. Saw Ruins Alone (again) four weeks ago, blew my mind again (still)

Adash
December 2nd 2011


1355 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

fly to japan and see ruins in the ruins of fukushima. Or London, he's playing here again tonight

Ovrot
December 3rd 2011


13304 Comments


Would I like this?

Ovrot
December 3rd 2011


13304 Comments


ok
will check out then

Adash
December 3rd 2011


1355 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The most obnoxious thing you've never heard, but in a good way



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