Ruins Circa 1997.
|Also known as||RonRuins, Sax Ruins, Ruins Alone|
|Genres||Zeuhl, Progressive Rock, Jazz Fusion, Noise Rock, Math Rock|
|Years active||1985 - Present|
|Labels||Ipecac Recordings, Tzadik, Skin Graft, Magaibutsu Limited, Shimmy Disc|
|Associated acts||Acid Mothers Temple, Akaten, Knead, Koenjihyakkei, Korekyojinn, Seikazoku, Sekkutsu Jean, Zeni Geva, Zubi Zuva X, Zoffy|
|Current members||Tatsuya Yoshida|
Ruins are a Japanese music duo consisting of drummer/vocalist Tatsuya Yoshida and a bass guitarist, though mainly Yoshida's project and even going as Ruins Alone for a time. Forming in 1985, the band is tied with the Zeuhl scene with lyrics sung original lyrics are written and sung in an invented language which, at first glance, resembles Kobaïan, the language invented by Christian Vander of French progressive rock band Magma, a band that Ruins hold as a main influence. The band also utilizes an aesthetic inspired by rock formations, Asian culture and statues.
Ruins' material (which Yoshida, who composes the majority of their pieces, writes out in score form) is generally of extreme complexity and thus is often described as inaccessible; potential listeners may be bewildered by the band's unrestrained yet disciplined approach and influences of noise rock, progressive rock, jazz fusion and math rock, accentuated by Yoshida's complex and scientific drumming.
Ruins composes only of drummer/vocalist Tatsuya Yoshida and a bass guitarist (there have been four such bassists in the band's history) though since 2005 the group has functioned as Ruins Alone, with Yoshida as the sole member. The group, formed in 1985, was supposedly intended to be a power trio; the guitarist, however, never showed up to the band's first rehearsal so the group remained a duo. The music touches on progressive rock, jazz fusion and noise rock.
Since forming Ruins have released thirteen studio albums in various incarnations and have toured all over the world, collaborating with a host of musicians along the way.
Formation and Early Years (1985 - 1994)Edit
Ruins formed in late 1985 initially with the intent of being a trio but when the guitar didn't show bassist Kawamoto Hideki and drummer Yoshida Tatsuya began to jam together and form songs in a distinctive style. The band would go on to perform live for the first time on 25 February 1986 in Tokyo along with releasing a self-titled EP. Ruins II would follow the next year as the band performed more in Japan. Kawamoto would depart from the group in 1987 and be replaced by Kimoto Kazuyoshi in which the duo would begin work on their debut album known as Ruins III (Or Infect in it's later CD re-release. Ruins III was also the first release under Yoshida's personal label Magaibutsu. Two years later the duo would release their second studio album Stonehenge, further expanding on their Zeuhl sound and drawing influences from the iconic rock formation. By 1991 Masada Ryuichi would take over bass duties in time for the band's third album Burning Stone.
The band having already experimented with labels such as Shimmy Disc and Public Bath would drift further with 1993's Graviyaunosch on Nipp Guitar. The band had also been collaborating with a host of musicians such as Kazutoki Umezu, Derek Bailey, Jason Willett and John Zorn among others. Zorn took particular interest in the band and would offer to release some of their works on his label Tzadik as part of their "New Japan" series. The first two of these releases would be the Derek Bailey + Ruins collaboration Saisoro and the band's fifth album Hyderomastgroningem. Sasaki Hisashi would join as a bassist in 1995 as the band would keep working on new material with Ryuichi eventually departing in 1997.
Refusal Fossil, signings to Tzadik and Skin Graft (1995 - 2001)Edit
Now a more refined duo than ever Ruins would eventually start a working relationship with Skin Graft Records (A label they still work with to this day) and eventually release their sixth album Refusal Fossil, a mix of new studio songs and live recordings. The next year would serve as one of the band's most productive with touring all over the world and releasing a host of albums. 1998's Warrido would push the band into a further progressive direction and show off the "Zeuhl" song titles the band would be known for with songs such as "Laipthcig", "Kpaligoth" and the title track. A collaboration with Derek Bailey called Tohjinbo along with another Tzadik released studio album Symphonica saw release the same year.
The band would tour further into 1999 along with a full RonRuins tour in Europe. 1999 would also mark the beginnings of the Japanese New Music Festival with Acid Mothers Temple and later years featuring Acid Mothers Temple SWR, a variation of the group featuring all three festival performers (Yoshida, Kawabata Makoto and Tsuyama Atsushi) along with humorous spin-off groups.
The band would go with French label Sonore and their own Magaibutsu for 2000's Pallaschtom, featuring a studio version of one of their "medley" tracks (The Skin Graft reissue would feature all three the band regularly performed live.). The band would frequently tour Japan, Europe and the United States as Yoshida also worked with a host of other projects.
Tzomborgha, Knead and Hisashi's departure (2002 - 2004)Edit
Ruins would sign with Ipecac in 2002 for their next studio album Tzomborgha, experimenting with new compositions and re-arrangements of works by Olivier Messiaen, V. Lakshminarayana, Shankar, Genam Rao, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Black Sabbath. It was praised by critics, for example AllMusic describing it as "Like some twisted version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" played by a collaboration between the Boredoms and the Bonzo Dog Band, Ruins' Tzomborgha is a fascinating and nerve-racking mix of back and forth shouting matches, falsetto vocables, and out-of-control bass and drum jams.".
The duo would also collaborate with Japanese avant-garde icon Keiji Haino and form the supergroup Knead, releasing two studio albums (2002's Knead via P.S.F. and 2003's This Melting Happiness - I Want You To Realize That It Is Another Trap via Fractal). Sasaki Hisashi would depart from the group in 2004, having served as the longest tenured bassist in the band's history. Rather than opting to find another bassist, Yoshida decided to keep Ruins going by himself, calling this new moniker Ruins Alone.
Ruins Alone and Sax Ruins (2004 - 2015)Edit
Ruins performed for the first time solely as Yoshida (Or RUINS-ALONE) on 7 June in Nagoya supporting a CD release for KOREKYOJINN. Throughout the year Yoshida would mainly perform with other acts or sporadically in jazz/improv ensembles with other musicians. Skin Graft Records had also been working on reissues of the band's works, culminating in a tenth anniversary edition of Refusal Fossil in 2007 with a host of unreleased tracks.
New studio recordings of Ruins would become somewhat minimal over the next few years with a few exceptions such as a split 7" with High on Fire featuring a previously unreleased song "Gwodhunqa". Tatsuya would also concentrate heavily in the studio with Seikazoku, Acid Mothers Temple SWR, Daimonji, Koenjihyakkei, Korekyojinn and Zeni Geva among live performances with many of these groups and improv jazz sessions with a host of different musicians. Ruins-Alone would also tour with the Japanese New Music Festival as well. Yoshida would also release three collaborative albums with Keiji Haino.
Touring alone would also lead Yoshida to a host of live spaces over the years beyond the usual Japan, Europe and USA by making appearances in Israel, Indonesia, China, Mexico and Australia to name a few. Eventually starting around 2006 Yoshida would collaborate with alto saxophonist Ono Ryoko in a new moniker named Sax Ruins to which the band would release their first album Yawiquo in 2009 via Ipecac. Ruins was chosen by Matt Groening to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival Groening curated in May 2010 in Minehead, England.
To celebrate Skin Graft's 20th Anniversary and their 100th release, Ruins would release a studio album under the "Ruins-Alone" moniker simply titled Alone in 2011, featuring ten original tracks and ten re-recorded Ruins songs with Yoshida handling all instruments and vocals. Sax Ruins would also release a second album in the form of Blimmgauss in 2013 via Skin Graft.
Masada Ryuichi's Return (2016 - Present)Edit
On 6 September 2016 it would be announced on Yoshida's Facebook page that Ryuichi Masuda would be performing with Ruins again at Koenji Showboat on 4th December. It would be the first time Ruins would perform as a duo in 12 years and the first time Masuda would perform with the band in nearly twenty. The band would perform a host of shows as Ruins in 2017 though Ruins Alone and Sax Ruins performances have also happened in 2017.
- 'Ruins III (1988, Magaibutsu) (reissued as Infect in 1993)
- Stonehenge (1990, Shimmy Disc)
- Burning Stone (1992, Shimmy Disc)
- Graviyaunosch (1993, Nipp Guitar)
- Jason Willett And Ruins (With Jason Willett) (1994, Megaphone Limited)
- Hyderomastgroningem (1995, Tzadik)
- Saisoro (As Derek and The Ruins) (1995, Tzadik)
- Refusal Fossil (1997/2007, Skin Graft Records)
- Vrresto (1998, Magaibutsu; 2004, Skin Graft Records)
- Tohjinbo (As Derek and The Ruins) (1998, Paratactile)
- Symphonica (1998, Tzadik)
- Pallaschtom (2000, Sonore / Magaibutsu; 2005 Skin Graft Records)
- Death Seed (With Guapo and The Stock Exchange) (2000, Free Land)
- Tzomborgha (2002, Ipecac Recordings)
- Yawiquo (as Sax Ruins) (2009, Ipecac Recordings)
- Alone (as Ruins Alone) (2011, Skin Graft Recordings)
- Blimmguass (as Sax Ruins) (2013, Skin Graft Recordings)
- Early Works: Live & Unreleased Tracks (1991, Bloody Butterfly)
- 0'33" (1993, HG Fact / Public Bath)
- Ruins + 梅津和時 (1994, F.M.N. Sound Factory)
- March - October 1997 (1997, Enterruption)
- Improvisations (1997, Magaibutsu)
- Ketsunoana (As RonRuins) (1998, Pandemonium)
- Live At Kichijoji / Mandala II (2001, Tzadik)
- Big Shoes (As RonRuins) (2001, Magaibutsu)
- Ruins + Kazuhisa Uchihashi (2002, F.M.N. Sound Factory)
- Live In Guang Zhou - China (2002, Noise Asia)
- Tomorrow Ruins (Live At 1st Tomorrow Festival 2014) = 明天廃墟 (As Ruins Alone) (2014, B10 Live / Old Heaven Books)
- 16.8.16 (As Sax Ruins) (2016, OTOROKU)
EPs & Other ReleasesEdit
- Ruins (EP) (1986, Transrecords)
- Ruins II (EP) (1987, Transrecords)
- Best of Ruins (Compilation) (1991, Biotope Art Organization)
- Ruins EP (EP) (1992, Public Bath)
- II & 19 Numbers (Compilation) (1993, SSE)
- Ruins / Dawson (Split with Dawson) (1993, HG Fact / Gruff Wit)
- Ruins / Schlong (Split with Schlong) (1994, HG Fact)
- Erase Yer Head # 6 (Split with Alboth!, Belly-Button, Molecules and Mug) (1998, Pandemonium)
- Ales Stenar (EP) (2001, Manufactured cR)
- 1986-1992 (Compilation) (2002, Skin Graft / Magaibutsu)
- Brother In The Wind / Gwodhunqa (Split with High on Fire) (2005, Skin Graft / Relapse)
- Ruins~I,II&III (Compilation) (2015, Fuji Disc Masters)
- Tatsuya Yoshida - Drums, Vocals (1985 - Present)
- Kawamoto Hideki - Bass, Backing Vocals (1985 - 1987)
- Kimoto Kazuyoshi - Bass, Backing Vocals (1987 - 1990)
- Masada Ryuichi - Bass, Backing Vocals (1991 - 1997, 2016 - Present)
- Sasaki Hisashi - Bass, Backing Vocals (1995 - 2004)
- Ono Ryoko - Alto Saxophone (2006 - Present; As part of Sax Ruins)
- Ron Anderson - Guitar, Keyboard, Vocals (1998 - 2002; As part of RonRuins)
- Derek Bailey - Guitar (1995 - 1998; As part of Derek and The Ruins)
NOTE: This list is incomplete. If any info is found on tours between 1985 - 1997 they will be added.
- 1993 USA Tour (1993)
- 1994 USA Tour (1994)
- RUINS WORLD TOUR (1998)
- RUINS EURO TOUR (With Sabot, A.I.D.S.) (1998)
- RUINS + RON ANDERSON TOUR (With Guapo) (1998)
- RUINS LONDON/PARIS TOUR (1999)
- RUINS IN US (1999)
- RUINS August Japan Tour (1999)
- Japanese New Music Festival (With Akaten, ZubiZuvaX, Tsuyama Atsushi) (1999)
- Japan Tour 2000 (2000)
- KETSUNOANA (As Ron-Ruins) (2000)
- RUINS USA TOUR (2001)
- RUINS IN Fukuoka Japan tour (2001)
- RUINS IN EUROPE TOUR (2001)
- TZOMBORGHA east-Japan Tour (2002)
- RUINS at Norway and Itaria (2002)
- Ruins at America Tour (2003)
- Japanese New Music Festival Europe Tour 2003 (With Akaten, Zoffy, ZubiZuvaX and Acid Mothers Temple) (2003)
- Ruins Alone Bassist Wanted Tour in USA (2005)
- ‘JAPANESE NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL’ EUROPE TOUR ver.4 (With Akaten, Zoffy, ZubiZuvaX and Acid Mothers Temple) (2005)
- Tour of Japanese New Music in China (2006)
- Ron-Ruins Japan Tour (As Ron-Ruins) (2006)
- Ruins Alone Mini-Tour (Mexico, Israel) (2006)
- Japanese New Music Tour in USA (2006)
- Ruins Alone Canada Tour (With AIDS Wolf) (2007)
- Ruins Alone USA Tour (With Made in Mexico) (2007)
- Ruins Alone Japan Mini-Tour (2008)
- Japanese New Music Festival European Tour (With Akaten, Zoffy, ZubiZuvaX and Acid Mothers Temple) (2008)
- Japanese New Music Festival Japan Tour (2008)
- Ruins Alone European Tour (2010)
- Sax Ruins European Tour (As Sax Ruins) (2010)
- Ruins Alone New Zealand Tour (2010)
- Sax Ruins Fall Shows (As Sax Ruins) (2010)
- JAPANESE NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL 2010 (With Akaten, Zoffy, ZubiZuvaX and Acid Mothers Temple) (2010)
- Ruins Alone Australia Tour (2011)
- Sax Ruins European Tour (As Sax Ruins) (2011)
- Ruins Alone European Tour (2011)
- Ruins Alone USA Mini-Tour (2012)
- Ruins Alone in Indonesia (2013)
- U Z J S M E D O M A europe tour (Ruins Alone, Sax Ruins, Ono Ryoko) (2013)
- Japanese New Music Festival 2014 (With Acid Mothers Temple, Akaten, Zoffy, Zubi Zuva X, Psyche Bugyo, Atsushi Tsuyama, Makoto Kawabata) (2014)
- Japanese New Music Festival 2014 (With Acid Mothers Temple, Akaten, Zoffy, Zubi Zuva X, Psyche Bugyo, Atsushi Tsuyama, Makoto Kawabata) (2015)
- Ruins Alone Australia Tour (2016)
- Ruins Reunion Spring Tour (2017)
- Japanese New Music Festival 2017 (With Acid Mothers Temple, Akaten, Zoffy, Zubi Zuva X, Psyche Bugyo, Atsushi Tsuyama, Makoto Kawabata) (2017)
- Magaibutsu - Tatsuya Yoshida's Website
- Ruins on Skin Graft
- Chilean writeup on Ruins
- 2010 Interview
- All About Jazz write-up on Ruins