Release Date: Oct 14, 2014
Record label: RVNG Intl.
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Post-Rock
Head here to submit your own review of this album. It appears - as far as social media is concerned - that Bing & Ruth have quite a small, but extremely devoted fan base. This could be due, in part, to the niche genre they occupy - as well as its accessibility to the common listener. Classical music does not carry the cultural weight that it once did, with trends in popular music shifting towards information that entertains quickly.
Tomorrow Was the Golden Age, the beautiful second LP from Bing & Ruth, isn’t “ambient music.” You wouldn’t be at fault for thinking as much, though: at first approach, the New York City ensemble’s music is the kind that seems to do the most when you’re not paying attention to it, a series of swells and rustling melodic passages that unfurl patiently. At times, it sounds quite sparse, with just a central melody orbited by distant tones; Bing & Ruth have clearly taken their time on these recordings, but by no means is this “slow” music meant for background listening. Instead, Tomorrow Was the Golden Age teems with life the same way an inanimate city skyline is filled with people unseen to the naked eye.
The Brooklyn-based ensemble known as Bing & Ruth have released a handful of gracefully meandering minimalist pieces since forming at New York's New School in 2006. The primary vehicle for the work of pianist/composer David Moore, Bing & Ruth work in a sort of classical post-rock milieu where long-form pieces tread slowly toward often dramatic crescendos over a variety of pastoral landscapes. Their expansive debut album, 2010's City Lake, boasted an 11-piece outfit that included strings, woodwinds, vocals, percussion, lap steel, and even a tape delay operator complementing Moore's gentle piano work.
Bing & Ruth are a New York septet led by pianist David Moore, whose music floats in the spaces between ambient, new age and modern classical. Their new album, Tomorrow Was The Golden Age, lands on Rvng Intl. during the label's blitz of early ambient reissues, placing it in a continuum of prototypical electronic music. This fits just fine—refreshingly unpretentious and almost archaic-sounding, the group's natural palette is hardly electronic at all.
Bing & Ruth are a minimalist collective that aspire to the heights of Steve Reich, Morton Feldman, Gavin Bryans, and Brian Eno. No offense to composer/pianist David Moore and his current lineup of musicians – Jeremy Viner and Patrick Breiner on clarinets, Leigh Stuart on Cello, Jeff Ratner and Greg Chudzik on upright basses, and Mike Effenberger working the tape delay – but only one of those big-shot influences name-dropped in their press release actually comes to my mind when listening to Tomorrow Was the Golden Age. What I hear is the Penguin Café Orchestra rising from the dead, popping a pill, chasing it down with a glass of wine, and lying down in a field to contemplate stuff! This is not a criticism.