James Ruskin
Into Submission

By Gavin Weale

 
Ruskin's second album for Tresor, and it's something of a production masterclass. The titles give you a clue as to the mood here: when sharp-edged Paranoia breaks down with what sounds like a tweaked sample of terror-tot Danny from The Shining repeating his disturbing refrain "redrum", you can almost hear a psychotic Jack Nicholson preparing to batter your door down with a fucking great axe.

Although not necessarily a bad thing, some of the best efforts are kept quite short: Escape Or Die retains an ominous tone over which scattered keys reverberate, and Is It Really Me? combines cinematic strings and little melodic riffs over tough, jacking electronic house. The Next Broadcast concludes the album nicely with syncopated beats and dubbed out effects. It's an evolution for Ruskin – not necessarily a departure – laced with a heady dose of dance floor bump, the tracks ooze moodiness, with the overall tone defined by atmospheric darkside rumblings and pulsating drum patterns.

Into Submission
is impressive and coherent, albeit an album that might make you close the curtains, shut the windows and forget it's summer.
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