Automation. That is the future that was promised from the first time computer chips were thought up; an ever-evolving dissonance between the primal and the automaton overwriting everything that was once the norm. Yet we still run, we still breathe, and we still find ourselves looking over our shoulders for the unknown that is hunting us just out of eyesight. Calyx and TeeBee break down the automatic doors to our minds and place their listeners in the title role of runner in their aptly named title Ruffian, and let me tell you, it is as much a beautiful homage to everything that came before as it is a tragic realization of what is still just behind us.
The initial sound is an homage to 80s sci-fi horror with crescendoing keyboards set against a lingering sound of a robotic call in the form of an electronic brass horn. Then the running begins. The primal drums accompanied by the gasp of jumping over hurtles set by the past accompanied by the sounds of the robots and keyboards always trailing, always seeking, always hunting, is truly masterful. Even in the moments where the running ceases the listener gets the feeling that the runner has jumped a chasm the sounds of the past are still echoing in the distance. It is here that new sounds of the 90s begin to seep in to create the sounds of a clash, almost like gunshots in the dark, just before the runner slams back down and continues his escape on the next wave of the future. The 90s sounds are more prevalent at this point, but as the four minute mark hits, the listener is brought back to the familiar sounds of the robotic calls. It is here that a terrible realization comes across the listener: they have been running in circles and once again must face the trending past.
Ruffian is as beautiful as it is tragic, and it is available right now only from RAM records.
Calyx & TeeBee are back on a darker tip with the menacing 'Ruffian', out this week on RAM Records...
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