Love Theme (ft. Alex Zhang Huntai from Dirty Beaches)
If there's a single guiding motif to this debut recording from Love Theme, it's the melancholic throb of love learnt and love lost, a descent that tumbles and slips through the overall feeling of looking back. As intimately and carefully as its parts cohesively lament a narrative, it's the after-image that catches your breath, like a memory morphing as it is observed.
Comprised of Alex Zhang Hungtai of the now defunct project Dirty Beaches, along with Austin Milne, and Simon Frank, 'Love Theme' is arranged from an improvised session with twin saxophones, synthesizer, percussion, drum machine, and voice. Over the course of a year the material was edited remotely from the members' home cities of Montreal, London, LA and Taipei.
The record's sullen ambience is never left too long to set in. The aching wane of the saxophone arrangements frisk the propulsive 'aggy' moments of the mixed percussion, forcing a melancholic halo upon the queasy stupor of the synthetic swing that closes each side of the record. It's a bizarre lust for life that's being divined from equal parts dislocation and invigoration, a potent remedy which perhaps Love Theme can call their own.
Percolating and finding form over time, the record instinctively follows a travel narrative, moving across a series of landscapes, reflecting the innate experiences of the expressions and voices that were first collected in South London back in February 2015.
On paper Vex Ruffin's music is simple: an untrained punk musician who uses a few basic instruments in uncomplicated ways, he calls the style 'minimalist.' Although it may not seem like it upon first listen, Vex's music is rooted in sampling and hip hop beat-making culture. The SP 303 sampler provides the drums and other sounds, a purchase inspired by Madlib.
Vex is the first and only artist signed to Stones Throw Records on the strength of an unsolicited demo sent through the mail. Peanut Butter Wolf recalls, "It was kind of a fluke that I listened. I just liked the drawing on the cover so I decided to check it out. I called the phone number on the CD and Vex thought I was his friend playing a practical joke."
These days, Vex is playing shows around LA and OC as a 3-piece band while getting ready for his debut EP release on Stones Throw in July and his full length at the end of 2011. He just played his dream gig at The Smell and is now ready for Coachella and 106 & Park.