I can hear a debate about this album in my head. It’s between two people. One is an avant-garde clarinet player that lives and breathes classical music in all forms (We’ll call her BACP for Bad Ass Clarinet Player). The other is a precocious eighteen-year-old lightly bearded redhead that loves everything electronic and ambient (We’ll call him TRBF for The Red Bearded Fuck).
BACP: It’s the depth of the instrumentation that I love here. David Moore and this five-piece ensemble really stretch what it means to play their instruments. This fits in the same world as Angélica Negrón, Nic Muhly, and Missy Mazzoli.
TRBF: Who the fuck are you talking about? Never mind, it doesn’t matter. I really don’t care. Sorry to break your bubble there sister but this is ambient I.D.M. through and through. It’s Windy & Carl, Stars of the Lid, Boards of Canada you should be talking about.
BACP: Wow, okay, so it’s going to be like that then. Listen to me you little turd weasel, you think anything that uses a computer is electronic music? That’s a pretty baseless argument. And I.D.M? Intellectual Dance Music? Who do you think is dancing to this?
TRBF: I.D.M. doesn’t have to sound like a club from the ’90s. Electronic music has moved on since your rave days.
BACP: My days? Okay you piece of cat shit the day after licking Elmo, so you’re saying Max Ritcher, Insa Donja Kai, Rachel’s, Eluvium, this is all…
TRBF: Ya, it’s electronic music. And if it isn’t then it’s ambient.
BACP: I get that it has an ambient atmosphere, but what we’re talking about here is clearly not…
You might think that I prefer one side of the argument from the dialogue. But remember, I created both of these characters. They’re both basically me. Don’t believe me? Poof! Both of them just died in a tragic boating accident also killing thousands of people all from a country I just made up. Whoops! They’re all resurrected now on an alien planet made of sentient vegetables, and the carrots are all racists. It’s your fault. Great job.
The point of the dialogue is that ambient music is getting harder to define. “Neoclassical” is a word that just means “inspired by classical music”. But, isn’t classical music inspired from … well, classical music? Would composing classical music on a computer be considered electronic music? I know some of you might think, “Shut the fuck up and let music be music.” But it doesn’t work that way. How we think of something, or how we define it, changes the thinking on it. Do you think you’d be a different person if you were named Bob or Sylvia? Yes, you fucking would (don’t be a smart ass if you’re named Bob or Sylvia).
Personally, I put this in the classical music box. There are simple and repetitive motifs and the use of electronics. But I feel that I.D.M. doesn’t feel as organic as this. These songs feel like they come from the earth. Also, there is a mindset that can often go with I.D.M. where people put it on in the background and that’s that. I don’t feel this music should be lost in the background. I think it sits right in between conscious and unconscious. An album to put on if you want to drift into your imagination and experience dream logic. But it makes itself too apparent to be cast into the background. It’s Bing & Ruth’s best release yet. And hot damn I know that TRBF, BACP, a bunch of racist carrots, and I are eagerly awaiting the next release.