While the ingredients in any recent Brian Ruryk release are basically the same—rapid-fire editing, rubbery cassette-tape contortions, anxious Sonny-Sharrock-on-amphetamines acoustic guitar scribblings, torrents of debris (aural and actual) flying across the stereo field—somehow each release manages to be totally surprising and fresh. This new six-CD-R set is by no means an exception.
While ostensibly affiliated with noise, Ruryk’s uncharacteristically sharp and vivid approach to recording sets him apart from many of his peers. The generally dense, brash, and downright noisy aspects of his music are tempered by an intensely focused attention to sonic detail, which makes listening to his work—particularly Cycle Of Fords—an utterly enveloping sonic experience.
Much of the textural interest is achieved through reasonably simple means. Eschewing fancy processing, these recordings consist of highly edited and layered performances in various acoustic spaces and contexts. Any sonic manipulation appears to be relegated to editing, overdrive, and pause-and-rewind speed manipulation on cassette players. The juxtaposition of various sonic environments and different levels of audio fidelity are also key to his work’s manic dynamism. Similar, though, to the brazen aesthetics of Xenakis or Florian Hecker, Ruryk, despite being feverishly complex, never squanders the intended visceral impact by being overly cerebral about the details.