By: Eric Greenwood
Rue is a self-proclaimed home studio collective of collaborating beat artists, who have put together a fine assortment of experimental drum ‘n bass. Several artists here feature members of early nineties rock outfits like Coral and Breadwinner. The common thread on this compilation is the exploration of a dark and robotic strain of break beat. Rue avoids the hackneyed use of jazz time signatures; instead it focuses on skittering drum machines. Vocals are rare with the influence being on the disjointed rhythmic shifts. Cold synths flare up randomly, adding to the detached atmosphere.
From the deliberately off-kilter artists names like Syllabica and Nabbee Swift to the oblique song titles (“Gita Servo”, “Marqtty”), you can rest assured this is a bizarre journey into an eerie electronic land. The tracks all blend together rather seamlessly with the same panic-stricken beats and icy, electronic noises. Crux’s “Noxious” best exemplifies the theme of Rue with its erratic syncopation and layered keyboards. Ene mixes old school Miami bass with Kraftwerkian melodies for a slightly unsettling yet well-crafted piece entitled “Won Over By Low Rates.” Rue’s confluence is its greatest asset. This compilation is a peak at the future of cognitive break beat.