[sic] Magazine

Bing & Ruth – Species

There’s an absorbing Haruki Murakami memoir called What I Talk About When I Talk About Running in which the fabled author of magical realism waxes lyrical about his obsession with distance running. Like his fiction, there’s a Zen nucleus to the disorientating tale, inner-peace achieved via repetitive action. A former jazz-bar owner, Murakami may lament the lack of notes in David Moore of Bing & Ruth’s droning Species, but there’s a kinship here nonetheless as Moore has caught the same bug, the trance-like state he found on dusty desert trails causing him to lose track of time and space, ultimately inspiring Species’ singular study of instrument and self.

Moore is a graduate of the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music and his hitherto Avant-/post-classical composition was heavily reliant on minimal piano, using no less than 17 of them on his 2017 4AD debut! Revelling now however in the relative freedom of the Farsifa combo organ – a move he describes as a “necessary risk” to explore this new direction – Moore’s tones again do his talking, Jeff Ratner and Jeremy Viner contributing unobtrusive bass and clarinet to the textural tableau.

A wheezing trudge through ecclesiastical pipework, Species was impressively laid down without edits or overdubs, the album title reflecting this humble, human approach. That fuzzed-out organ ambience is treated though to a multi-layering process, Moore’s classical know-how letting these competing loops stumble over one another without falling down, a serene but experimental suite often segueing seamlessly between tracks making it easy to share in Moore’s loss of time. His organ just doesn’t have the heart and aesthetics of his pianos though, compensating instead with contemplative psalms that mourn the dying of the day, a devotional drift that falls like heavy, silent snow.

Species is a reverential experience as a result, Moore’s organ swelling to the rafters as his drones fill all available space. It’s consequently a minimal and yet maximal listen, the slow impact of his micro-detail and shifting valves creating a shimmering drizzle through stained glass. That Moore can conjure both tension and relief from such a narrow spectrum of sound proves him a master of more than one trade, an intellectual interpreter of the age-old music of the spheres.

Best track: “The Pressure Of This Water”

~Species is released July 17th 2020 via 4AD.~