I actually helped to fund this kickstarter project a while back and it was great to finally get it in the mail. Hunter (from Gold Robot) and Graham (Roman Ruins) collaborated with each other by Hunter sending Graham a painting based on his song and then graham writing a song based on a painting and then vice versa...on for a while I think...
You know Hunter should talk to Bravo about turning this into a 'Next great artist' type of show with teams of artists and musicians collaborating together, you'd have to narrow it down a bit to visual 2D artists maybe, illustrators or something, just to get rid of the weirdo conceptual sculpture. They would get 24 hrs to create an image and then the musicians would have 24 hrs to interpret the work and some jerk useless panel would decide which was the most successful...or have an audience vote, american idol style.
So what does that sleeve image have to do with the music? It looks like this lowly piece of wood is exploding, the layers of rigid technology are covering this natural organic form, and I think there's a lot of that idea going on with these two tracks.
The A-Side, 'Why Party?' is my question exactly. Why do we have to settle for the obvious booming rave track? Can't we have an intelligent slow jam like this? All clear, crisp production, with a nod to past decades, and a nearly Ariel Pink sound...and it sounds the best at 45. When you hear someone really almost showing off with the amount of production, it can be an amazing thing. I know he enjoyed the process of recording it as much as I'm into hearing the channel separation, the out of place sounds. It comes through on these two tracks, every possibility has been explored, all the variations have been worked out. Then there's elements like this organic live bass guitar sound that keep it grounded...they aren't just pressing buttons, the human element is always here, either triggering sounds or traditionally playing the instrument. It's the most successful type of heavily electronic music for me, the kind that isn't tied down to the technology...if it fits, it's in.
This track seems to get more atmospheric as it goes on, losing part of it's core melody..or just not relying on it as much, maybe giving in to a uncontrolled movement for a minute.
The B-Side, 'The Comedown', has a Magnetic Fields sound; the childlike choice of sounds, an unnatural rhythm with weird homemade elements. They always seemed to be pushing sounds like Graham here, always in support of the main composition.Graham is really conscious of creating an entire experience, it sounds impressively in the moment, with the sheer amount of sounds keeping the layers always surprising. That can be an exhausting experience, but there's always with an underpinning of a strong melody. How ever many crazy directions it's going, however ambient the nature of this track, it always involves a complex way of getting there.
You lucky bastards can actually purchase it as Hunter had some copies left over....you're welcome.
Artist: Roman Ruins
Format: 7-inch colored vinyl (opaque orange)
Cover Design: Hunter Mack
Release Date: July 6, 2010
This record is the result of a collaboration between Roman Ruins (Graham Hill) and the artist Hunter Mack. Originally launched as a Kickstarter project which financed this two-song 7" vinyl record along with a limited art print, it is now available to the general public.