Out Now: Ruah – Memory Loops (SM047)
Strange Mono is announcing the release of Ruah’s new album Memory Loops. With this follow up to their first full length Ruwa, released in May, songwriter Ben Schurr shifts focus from immaculate production and into a more intimate style recording. With this more relaxed approach to production Ruah was able to craft honest songs that feel inspired throughout.
Memory Loops, is an exploration of memory, loss, and grief by the Philadelphia based experimental song project Ruah. Led by Benjamin Schurr, Memory Loops sees the project focusing on fragility and the significance of memory to navigate loss. Over the past few months, since returning to his hometown of Philadelphia, Benjamin recontextualized old cassettes and forgotten field recordings from the past 15 years to transform them into new pieces. “After setting up my studio in West Philly I found myself compelled to digitize old cassettes, microcassettes and field recordings I had made with friends at the beginning of my start as a producer/songwriter. I found snippets of magic from a friend who since passed and a song began to reveal itself, the more i dug the more revelations, this is a collection of that process, focusing on loops that had significance to me as a sonic mantra and a way to keep these fleeting memories alive”
What influenced you to start Ruah?
“I wanted to take the wisdom (ha!) I possibly acquired from the years of doing Br’er and other projects to move forward with intention. I don’t want there to be a formula to what the project can and can’t do, and I still want to feel like I’m discovering fire when I’m creating the music; but I do want the delivery of how it arrives in the world to be very much on a path”
What motivates your writing process?
“I see songwriting as one of the few places that’s truly mine, and I want that space to be honest. whether it’s reflective or trying to manifest something. In ways it’s like casting spells, and It’s about what energy I want to draw from and draw in, which echoes my sentiments towards being very intentional in my work, and def being aware of what I’m attempting to say/attract. I’ve worked no shortage of shitty jobs and i really value the time I have to hopefully put something meaningful into the world, and I don’t believe anything good will come from me not being true to my intentions as a songwriter”
Can you walk us through your approach to producing?
“I like the collage approach to production that’s kinda a tapestry of a bunch of weird sounds that are meaningful to me that I weave together into a (hopefully) cogent piece of music. I’m always chasing the sense of wonder and discovery of finding new (to me) sounds and textures. I also really love finding old ideas that I maybe forgot about and recontextualizing them, I never get sick of the thrill of putting weird shit together!”
Proceeds from this album benefit Doctors Without Borders.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) offers medical humanitarian assistance to people based solely on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender, or political affiliation. Our teams of doctors, nurses, logisticians, and other frontline workers are often among the first on the scene when peoples’ lives are upended by conflict, disease outbreaks, or natural or human-made disasters.