Loud Sounds 21
Cover photo: Martin Ruby
"Loud Sounds" are some of the best new tracks we've found. We are coming back with the twenty-first installment of the series.
Martin Ruby – In the Field

For those new to Martin Ruby's music we remind that it is an alt-folk collective led by Brooklyn-born, Moscow-based singer and multi-instrumentalist Marco North. Recently we've covered Martin Ruby's excellent track Sisyphus released in anticipation of his full-length Jacob and the Angel.

Now the album has arrived, and it's clearly one of the best records released in 2022. The album sounds timeless – like it could have been recorded a thousand years ago or in the distant future. One of its highlights is In the Field. We asked Marco to talk about the creative process behind the track. And he basically broke down the whole composition with an almost scientific attention to detail, without losing a single bit of its magic. Read Marco's comment below.

Marco North
In the field was inspired by the work of Mark Hollis, of Talk Talk. He explained his music so well, when he said "Before you play two notes in a row, learn to play one…It's that simple, really. And don't play a single note unless you have good reason to play it."

When I write music, I am trying to be expressive as possible with the minimum I need to use. On my new album Jacob and the Angel that may mean just one solo instrument (track 2, Sisyphus). But on In the Field I tried to use the ensemble as a sort of echo chamber, as stripped down and lush as I could make it. But again – I used a number of instruments as sparingly as possible.

The writing and recording process on this go hand in hand as the parts were improvised against each other as they evolved. I began with the sketch of an arrangement – a road to follow, with a simple melody in hand. My low-strung Regal dobro in open D tuning drives the prelude and then a crowd of instruments arrive. A handmade 3 string cigar box guitar, a banjola made in 1897, samples of didgeridoos and strings all speak to each other – expressing and re-expressing the same notes, hopefully talking to each other.

Then a pause.

Then they all come back in, even bigger, more confident – as if to say, "Let me give me this one more chance. Let me get it right." Then the banjola surfaces – with just the most heartbreaking, improvised line I could muster, trying to break free, like a city covered in clouds that has a blue sky above it. The underscoring shifts. The ice is melting. The low dobro almost recognizes the banjola, and says "Yes, yes. Go on."

And then everything finds it place. All of the toys go back in the box.
Vitesse X – Us Ephemeral (Remix by George Clanton)

Vitesse X is a NY-based producer whose equally blissed-out and dancefloor-ready single Us Ephemeral has received praise from a few respected outlets. George Clanton's given the track he confesses he'd love to have written some gentle treatment, bringing out its mellower side, but retaining the dancefloor energy. The vibe of this remix reminded me of the chilled-out trance classic Far From the Maddening Crowds by Chicane. Read George's insightful comment about his excellent remix.

George Clanton
When I first heard Vitesse X's Us Ephemeral I Ioved it and my first thought was that I wished I had written it. I knew I wanted to play around with the sounds and put my own spin on it, so I asked if I could remix it. I have been listening to a lot of ambient drum and bass music and I want to work in that area more, where the music feels both fast and slow at the same time, it puts me in a trance. I made this remix in the hopes of putting the listener in a reflective trance. It makes me feel like Bill Murray looking out the window onto Tokyo in the beginning of Lost In Translation. I want to make more music that sounds like this.
Also revisit Vitesse X's futuristic single Potential Energy.
George Clanton's remix of Caroline Loveglow's Patience Etc... has a similar blissful vibe created by relaxed drums and glowing synth pads.
Also listen to Caroline Loveglow's original and her other single Blue Arcade.