4AD – 17th February
Bing & Ruth is the ever-evolving project of David Moore, a Kansas resident heavily involved in jazz and contemporary music academia with a fine-tuned ear for minimalism. Moore is the one constant member – his records have embedded ensembles ranging from eleven to seven pieces, with his third album No Home in the Mind, his first for 4AD, being the most streamlined of them all, featuring a tightly-wound five-piece group.
What Moore has composed here isn’t too dissimilar to the dreamy, meditative and melancholic work that Liz Harris produced on Grouper’s “unplugged” album In Ruins. The work is often tense and sparse, dreamlike and hypnogogic. But where Harris holed up in a single Portuguese residency for that record, Moore has taken a more sprawling approach, recording on seventeen pianos across North America and Europe across countless sessions. The result is a record that mostly is heavy, dense and incredibly minimalistic, yet still uproarious as far as ambient music goes.
Moore is an incredibly talented pianist, and the streamlined backing band of warbling tape delay, breezy woodwinds and taut percussion lift the compositions to an almost ethereal level. The whole is best experienced free-flowing as a whole, so it would be unfair to single out any particular tracks, but the moments that stand out are those that are beautifully trance like – ‘Form Takes’ sounds like a landscape literally forming in slow-motion, whereas the elegiac ‘The How of it Sped’ is Moore at his best – utterly hypnotic and enchanting.