Ruins – Originally a Japanese bass-and-drumkit duo, Ruins is the brainchild of drummer Tatsuya Yoshida.
Ruins were (and are) possibly the first and purest exponents of math rock: short, incredibly dense and complex bursts of hardcore progressive-rock influenced energy, their second album Burning Stone set the bar and dropped jaws across the underground all the way back in 1992. Tatsuya is currently still going strong with a solo version of Ruins, Ruins Alone (having worn out several bassists along the way). And influenced the likes of Fantomas, The Locust and avant-progressive noise everywhere.
Here’s some free mp3s straight from the marvelous Skin Graft Records, who have re-released many Ruins and and Tatsuya Yoshida-related albums:
Guamallpish mp3 (from Pallaschtom)
Praha In Spring (Burning Stone remixed)
Glaschzenk (Ruins Alone)
Stonehenge (Ruins Alone)
and a couple from Koenjihyakkei:
Nivrayam (from Nivrayam)
Doi Doi (Hundred Sights of Koenji)
Ruins – and Tatsuya’s related band, Koenjihyakkei, are heavily influenced by French band Magma. Magma’s lyrics are sung in an invented language called Kobaian, and Ruins/Koenjihyakkei use a similar language (for all intents a ‘dialect’ of Kobaian!).
Here’s a couple of fascinating vids with appalling sound – the first one is of San Francisco encountering Ruins for one of the first times – waaaay back in 1993:
Here’s another from possibly the same tour (or gig?). Witness the birth of math rock. (ducks, runs away…)
And here’ my personal favourite Ruins number, Pallaschtom:
Finally, here’s Ruins Alone – Tatsuya Yoshida sans bass player and with pre-record or triggered assistance (not sure quite which).