by tom johnson
To compare music of this ilk to Grouper seems like an all-too easy comparison, but there’s certainly a sense of Liz Harris’ swampy, immersive creations in the latest EP from San Francisco’s Ruïneer. Just three tracks and fourteen-minutes long, what this collection lacks in numerical stature it more than makes up for in weighty, absorbing grandeur. Or perhaps grandeur is the wrong word; August is inescapably heavy but it’s heavy in the way that evening shadows are heavy, in the way that water is heavy, which is to say that the burden is all about projection and apprehension rather than anything physical and immediate.
Book-ended by the two shorter, but no less engaging songs, the EP’s most mesmerising moment undoubtedly comes from the six-minute sprawl of its centre-piece and title-track. All shapes and shadows twisting in on themselves, it’s a distorted but completely compelling creation, Caressa Coy’s muddied vocal occasionally gleaming through the fog like odd metallic objects sometimes bouncing off a ray of light in otherwise monochrome landscapes.
The EP is perhaps taken best as a whole though, one passage of music that seems to hold the day in its palm just long enough to force itself around you, weightless but imposing, like air filled with tender grief.
*Edit – The preceding album, Your Life Concerning Me, is equally compelling; stream the whole thing here