Kelly Ruth

Forms // Pseudo Laboratories

Experimental. It’s a word being used more frequently in music but sometimes its usage gives false representation of the album you’re about to hear. That’s not the case with Kelly Ruth’s debut solo effort called Forms. Ruth became instantly revered from her work in the improvisational group Civvie, as she showed us impossible sounds could come from a weaving loom. Remember that word experimental? It’s safe to say Kelly Ruth has an all access pass to this word. Using contact microphones and effect pedals on her loom, she creates a soundscape of warm tones that sometimes are lacking from the experimental genre. Her interplay between this primitive tool and modern technology mirror the theme of ecology when this branch of biology is used to study the interactions among natural organisms and their, ever increasing, man-made environments. The best example is on the song “Nascent” which sounds like a perfect soundtrack to the early beginnings of new life in our modern world. She makes her loom creak and croak quietly as faint howls and hisses rise up through the layers. There are natural soundscapes mashed together with industrial ones in a subtle show of brilliant restraint. The album plays perfectly from start to finish, offering a profound ability to have its listener ponder all aspects of life on this planet and how we interact with it. It’s a rare treat to hear such a contemplative instrumental album, this thought is made confounding when you realize the sounds were made from a tool posing as an instrument… or perhaps we’re actually hearing an instrument posing as a tool.

- Jeff MacCallum