Bing & Ruth
— Each purchase includes a multi-format download redeemable via Bandcamp.
Before Bing & Ruth’s halcyonic opus Tomorrow Was the Golden Age, there was City Lake. Initially pressed in an unusually limited edition five years ago, the ensemble’s stunning full-length debut is now released in simultaneously refined and expanded form. With bonus tracks and new, visceral mastering, the album gleams all the more and signals a spree of live performances this fall revisiting the material.
As the principal leader of Bing & Ruth, David Moore assembles his orchestral roster according to the scope of each piece and recording setting. For City Lake, Bing & Ruth consisted of eleven members: two clarinetists (Jeremy Viner and Patrick Breiner), two cellists (Greg Heffernan and Leigh Stuart), two vocalists (Becca Stevens and Jean Rohe), a bassist (Jeff Ratner), a lap-steel player (Myk Freedman), a faithful tape-delay engineer (Mike Effenberger), a percussionist (Chris Berry), and Moore on piano.
City Lake is shepherded into concrete pastures by Moore’s weightless piano melodies, immersed as they are in grand shapes of breath-like horn, string and voice phrases. Augmented with more percussive proclivity than TWTGA, City Lake establishes Bing & Ruth’s ambient brand through a greater gamut of material mediums. If TWTGA opened its shutter to the imperceptible shifts of transitions between darkness and light, City Lake was composed to be less ethereal, instead embodying a group-oriented musicality and physicality.
On City Lake, there are instances of Reich-ian excitement with the hand clapped rhythms of “Rails” and a seance of sorts excorsized by the brush-tapped “Put Your Weight Into It.” Dual track “City Lake / Tu Sei Uwe” culminates the urbanized form of ambience with tonal elements in free-fall, piling-up in a harsh denouement of the album’s title piece. Further into the program David Moore’s intrigue with Gavin Bryars and Thomas Newman finds delicate voice in the hibernative “Here’s What Your Missin,” a track redolent of all the narcotic power of which Bing & Ruth are capable.
City Lake sets the standard met by Bing & Ruth’s sonorous sophomore journey Tomorrow Was The Golden Age. In this earlier portrait, the ensemble graces its listeners with gail-force movements from the wake of Bing & Ruth’s gliding wings leaving trails in the skyline. City Lake was RVNG’s chance introduction to Bing & Ruth, mistakenly handed off as unmarked test pressings by the vinyl manufacturer.
Bing & Ruth’s City Lake is available now on RVNG Intl. as a limited edition double LP, CD and digital formats.
Side A (33 RPM)
A1. Broad Channel
A2. Put Your Weight Into It
Side B (33 RPM)
B1. And Then it Rained
Side C (33 RPM)
C1. City Lake / Tu Sei Uwe
Side D (33 RPM)
D1. Broad Channel / A Little Line in a Round Face
D2. Here’s What You’re Missin
01. Broad Channel
02. Put Your Weight Into It
03. And Then it Rained
05. City Lake / Tu Sei Uwe
06. Broad Channel / A Little Line in a Round Face
07. Here’s What You’re Missin
08. You’re Gonna Need That When He’s Gone (Bonus Track)
09. In This Ruined House (Bonus Track)
10. Broad Channel (Solo Piano) (Bonus Track)