Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pinknruby - Garden & The Vast Astonishment

Oh my god. In the music of Pinknruby, I have found true, surrealist beauty. It is one of my favorite new finds, and I am positive you will love it too.

Pinknruby, a duo comprising Slovenian Michaela Repina and Brit Paul Bradbury, began working together in 1998, intending to write dance music with strong melodies. The ensuing garage, drum'n'bass and chill-out tracks generated some interest. Early in 2002, Pinknruby decided to try something entirely different. Carrying folk guitar backgrounds, Repina and Bradbury opted to return to simple acoustic melodies. Their preceding tenure in dance music, however, led to acoustic songs with a dance approach, which led to the use of loops, etc. Their music, warm, acoustic, and performed using guitars and vocals by both members, combines folk with elements from the Mediterranean and eastern Europe. When performing, the musical pair likes to dress colorfully in accordance with the occassion, which adds to the appeal of their shows. Pinknruby's lyrics, in Slovenian, usually present short stories or philosophical comments.

Pinknruby attracted the attention of French underground label, Prikosnovénie in 2002 and released their debut album, The Vast Astonishment with them in 2003. Since then, they have released two more critically acclaimed albums, Garden (2005) and Queen Kale (2008).

2005; 10 tracks

Garden is Pinknruby's second album, and my favorite. Mihaela Repina's soft, high Slovenian-singing voice combines with the purring of a cat in seamless intimacy. I have grown a deep love for this album, which provides a great collection of musical genres and styles - pure acoustic folk to jazzy, up-beat tracks, often accompanied by a violin. Mihaela Repina's voice is utterly gorgeous, reminiscent of Kate Bush and perhaps even Liz Frasier.

"Mihaela Repina and Paul Bradbury make light, mysterious and mostly acoustic music that draws from Eastern European folk and Brazilian samba, with a dash of jazz. Both sing in Slovenian, she in a dusky voice that recalls Lou Rhodes from Lamb, he in a light tenor that reminds one of Ben Watt. The music dances on the edge of being too precious and twee, one song features a cat purring. But the harmonies are solid, the instrumentation inventive, harps, psaltery and cello are added to mix, and Repina's alto is truly bewitching. On such tracks as 'Nader Margh' and 'White Lady Mirror', her dark voice and the soothing, glimmering instrumentation create an indescribable world of dark and light."

Download + Track 1

2003; 11 tracks

The Vast Astonishment is Pinknruby's debut album (with Prikosnovénie).

((I like it but will provide more thoughts after more listens.))



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