Ruins (Japanese band)

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Origin Japan
Genres Progressive rock, noise rock, zeuhl
Years active 1985–present
Labels Ipecac Recordings, Tzadik, Skin Graft, Magaibutsu Limited
Associated acts Koenji Hyakkei, Zeni Geva, Ruins Alone
Members Yoshida Tatsuya
Past members Kawamoto Hideki
Kimoto Kazuyoshi
Masuda Ryuichi
Sasaki Hisashi

Ruins is a Japanese minimalist prog duo of drum set and electric bass guitar. The group, formed in 1985, was supposedly intended to be a power trio; the guitarist, however, never showed up to the band's first rehearsal, so the group remained a duo. The drummer is Tatsuya Yoshida and the group has featured four different bass players over its history.

The French progressive rock band Magma is the group's most important influence, to such an extent that Ruins' original lyrics are written and sung in an invented language which, at first glance, resembles Kobaïan, the language invented by Christian Vander of Magma. Ruins' material (which Yoshida, who composes the majority of their pieces, writes out in score form) is generally of extreme complexity and thus is often described as inaccessible - potential listeners may be bewildered by the band's unrestrained yet disciplined approach, or simply astounded by the visceral energy of the pair.

In addition to the "prog rock" label, the group's music has also been described as "math rock" and "zeuhl". That said, Ruins' style has consistently evolved since the band's beginnings; this is often tied in with the bassist Tatsuya was collaborating with at the time.

Ruins have collaborated with several other musicians, including prominent avant-garde figure Derek Bailey, auteur guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Keiji Haino and Ground Zero alumnus Kazuhisa Uchihashi.

Sasaki Hisashi left the band in 2004, and since then Yoshida has been touring solo under the name Ruins-alone (Ruins Alone). He has also performed as Sax Ruins with alto saxophonist Ono Ryoko. He was chosen by Matt Groening to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival Groening curated in May 2010 in Minehead, England.


Current members
Former members
  • Kawamoto Hideki – bass, vocals (1985–1987)
  • Kimoto Kazuyoshi – bass, vocals (1987–1990)
  • Masuda Ryuichi – bass, vocals (1991–1997)
  • Sasaki Hisashi – bass, vocals (1995–2004)


EPs, live releases, and compilations[edit]


  • Ruins & Umezu Kazutoki (1994, with Umezu Kazutoki)
  • Hatoba & Ruins (1994, with Omoide Hatoba)
  • Saisoro (1995, with Derek Bailey)
  • Jason Willet & Ruins (1995, with Jason Willet)
  • Tohjinbo (1997, with Derek Bailey)
  • Ketsunoana (1998, with Ron Anderson)
  • Big Shoes (2001, with Ron Anderson)
  • Kazuhisa Uchihashi & Ruins (1998, with Kazuhisa Uchihashi)
  • Live In Europe (2001, with Kazuhisa Uchihashi)
  • Knead (2002, with Keiji Haino)
  • New Rap (2006, with Keiji Haino)
  • Uhrfasudhasdd (2008, with Keiji Haino)
  • Hauenfiomiume (2008, with Keiji Haino)
  • 2008 New Japan Festival (2008, with various artists, including Ruins-Alone)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]