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International Anthem

Ruth Goller - Skyllumina

Ruth Goller - Skyllumina

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SKYLLUMINA represents a new evolution of London-based, Italian-born composer, bassist, and vocalist Ruth Goller. Goller is known for her bass and vocal work with Alabaster DePlume, whose music she elevates in live contexts with her genre-less improvisational intuition, and an incredibly diverse résumé that includes performance and recording with Bex Burch’s Vula Viel, Shabaka Hutchings, Rokia Traore, Melt Yourself Down, Sam Amidon, and even a very brief moment with Paul McCartney.

For SKYLLUMINA, her International Anthem debut, Goller expands upon the concept of her first solo album Skylla – de-tuned bass harmonics with layered voices – this time collaborating with a different drummer on each track. “As a bass-player, I love playing with drummers and I decided to focus on my close connection to that instrument and to the amazing people I met in my life who play it,” says Goller. “There were some who played tuned percussion as well, so it would give me another element to explore.”

Her accompanists on the album include The Smile's Tom Skinner, go-to London drummer Seb Rochford, Berlin-based International Anthem labelmate Bex Burch, and ex-pat Chicago legend Frank Rosaly. But more importantly, the music is an immersive hyperfocus for Goller and her patently distinct, singular compositional vision. SKYLLUMINA, despite its highly conceptual origins, is heavy with human emotion.

Its dark washes of melody and contrapuntal percussion could fit easily into a mixtape with indie downbeat / ennui royalty like Grouper or Low, while also being right at home next a Cage-Tudor prepared piano piece. And the piercing, sibilant ice age siren song heard in Goller's powerfully feminine vocal arrangements find her in an otherworld only occasionally inhabited by the likes of Björk and The Knife.
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