Making their U.S. debut at the same time as the Boredoms on legendary American freak rock label Shimmy - Disc in the early 90's, Japanese monster-progressive-hard core-avant-rock band of wonder, Ruins got their music worldwide notoriety earlier than anyone in the Japanese independent scene. Since then, Ruins have released albums on top avant-garde labels such as Tzadik, Skingraft, Sonore, and have and have become favorites of the global indie music world: like Shonen Knife or Zeni Geva, their renown reaches far beyond the confines of their native Japan.
Ruins, which started in 1985, is led by Japanese stand out, super technical irregular-time drummer Tatsuya Yoshida (Aburadako, YBO2, etc.). Their unbelievable speed and pressure of sound is created by only two members, a drummer and a bassist! It is a minimal unit. Current Ruins bassist, Hisashi Sasaki creates a sound uncanny in its complexity; as if there’s a bassist and a guitarist.
Musical reference points? Think Magma, This Heat, Area, Frank Zappa, Henry Cow, and King Crimson. Add to that the violent speed of hardcore punk and thrash metal, and you’re getting closer. Their sound influenced later avant-rock bands and has many crossovers with the New York Loft style and its proponents like John Zorn. Their crazy lyric-free vocal style is also unique. Sometimes its operatic style reminds you of Kobaian of Magma - Tatsuya Yoshida is often referred to as the "Japanese Christian Vander". Ruins roots might give the notion that they are "avant", but their overwhelming physical power is beyond the narrow boundaries of genre. They seem to appeal more to fans of alternative, hardcore punk and technical thrash metal.
As their band name suggests, Ruins employ photographs of stones - stone Buddha, Magaibutsu, and ancient ruins - as cover art for their albums. In fact, the stones are the key to solving the secret of their music. Mankind worshiped huge stones and rocks as a sign of faith in many parts of the world. In ancient times people believed in an infinite colossal energy, that nature lived with them. A rock, which seemed to be standing still, could cause crushing destruction as a landslide or an avalanche, when nature raged and its energy was discharged. You can say the super-high-speed and high-density sound of Ruins express an organic energy hidden in a huge stone in nature by music. Their sound is led by non-symmetric music composition with changes - ups and downs, violently hasty performance, loud sound - is nothing but a creation of virtual huge stone energy by a sound. As no two rocks are the same in nature, their expression of sound is always different. With every new Ruins album, their expression evolves. The latest product is always their glowing masterpiece. They are coming closer to natural energy itself, which is high density and confusion.
1990 STONE HENGE (Shimmy – Disc)
1991 EARLY WORKS (Bloody Butterfly)
1992 BURNING STONE (Shimmy – Disc)
1993 II & 19 NUMBERS (SSE8010CD)
1993 INFECT (SSE8018CD)
1993 GRAVIYAUNOSCH (NG-D03)
1994 RUINS-HATOBA (Magaibutsu)
1995 HYDEROMASTGRONINGEM (Tzadik)
1995 JASON WILLET & RUINS (Megaphone)
1995 DEREK & THE RUINS/SAISORO (Tzadik)
1998 REFUSAL FOSSIL (Skingraft)
1998 VRRESTO (Magaibutsu)
1998 SYMPHONICA (Tzadik)
1998 DEREK & THE RUINS/TOHJINBO (CD) (May Paratactile)
1998 RONRUINS/KETSUNOANA (Pandemonium)
2000 PALASCHTOM (Magaibutsu)