Release Date: Feb 17, 2017
Record label: 4AD
Genre(s): Ambient, Avant-Garde, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Post-Rock, Neo-Classical, Post-Minimalism
Bing & Ruth's music exists in the cracks between. Project leader David Moore has a degree in music and his earlier compositions, found on the 2010 album City Lake , can have the air of the conservatory. So it makes some sense to slot his work in with contemporary classical. But the era of classical music Moore most frequently evokes--the trance-inducing minimalism of the 1960s and '70s--has at times been filed as new age.
It was Matt Werth's good fortune that, in 2009, Brooklyn Phono shipped the wrong test pressings to his RVNG Intl label. He was instantly enchanted by the minimal yet evocative music of Bing & Ruth, an ensemble conceived by upstate composer David Moore. That particular album, City Lake, was released on Moore's Happy Talk label in 2010, but Bing & Ruth's breakthrough album, Tomorrow Was The Golden Age, came out on RVNG Intl.
Excluding a few early, limited releases, No Home of the Mind is the third proper full-length from pianist David Moore's post-minimalist ensemble Bing & Ruth, and their debut for legendary indie label 4AD. While 2010's City Lake was created by 11 musicians, including two vocalists, and featured compositions stretching past the ten-minute mark, No Home continues with the more refined sound of Bing & Ruth's 2014 breakthrough Tomorrow Was the Golden Age. That album featured seven musicians, and No Home is even more stripped-down, as Moore is only joined by clarinetist Jeremy Viner, bassists Jeff Ratner and Greg Chudzik, and tape delay operator Mike Effenberger.
Bing & Ruth bridge classical music's baroque showmanship and the heady sheepishness of ambient drone, riffing dizzily on the incompatibility between the two. At once structured and shapeless, the New York City ensemble's third album, No Home of the Mind, is their strongest rendering of this incongruous and warped style. In the album's most dazzling moments, which arrive cautiously amid arduous slabs of buildup, founding pianist David Moore constructs a swirling, hypnotic dialogue between forms of voiceless music.
For David Moore, the piano was always most important. As a student at the New School's contemporary music department, Moore spun the measured minimalism of his solo piano pieces into grander ensemble works as his project, Bing & Ruth, slowly spread in scope. Influenced by composers like Thomas Newman and Sergei Prokofiev , the act wove Moore's meditative piano lines into seismic spectacles of ambient maximalism, swinging between awe-striking resplendence and a softer, filmic sensitivity that delighted in near-silent echoes.