Over the past 5 years, Rich Ruth, with his debut LP, Calming Signals, and his latest, I Survived, It’s Over, has established himself as one of the most exciting up-and-coming talents in the ever–burgeoning sphere of cosmic music. It’s difficult to pinpoint his work as jazz, ambient, komische, or post-rock, as it employs elements of all those genres and more in a way that feels wholly natural. Is it post-genre? Perhaps. Ruth calls it “instrumental music,” which is true, albeit reductive. One thing is certain, it is not to be missed.
An ambitious and thrilling slice of neo-spiritual jazz fusion from Rich Ruth (AKA Nashville-based multi-instrumentalist Michael Ruth). The sonic touchstones on I Survived, It’s Over come fast and thick, ranging from Santana and John McLaughlin’s cosmic collabs with Alice Coltrane to mid-1990s Tortoise (indeed, the album was mixed by Tortoise co-founder John McEntire).
Rich Ruth quietly released Calming Signals in the late summer of 2019, its nuanced charms carrying us into autumn and beyond. Based in Nashville, Ruth returns this month with the Where There’s Life ep, a collection of meditative pieces written during the early months of the pandemic, and first recorded output since his debut.
Calming Signals is the latest ambient offering from promising Nashville, TN-based composer, Rich Ruth. On the album’s mesmerizing opener, “Coming Down,” a squall of guitars and bleary synthesizers weave in and out of hypnotic swells of bass and escalating saxophone. Eventually the groove crumbles and the roar intensifies, though there is still serenity to be found amidst the clamor.