Pat Ruffner is composer and multi-instrumentalist from Maryland who recently released an EP entitled Divide the Sky. It’s an instrumental effort that blends electronic and organic elements. Ruffner isn’t breaking any new ground but shows potential and talent on this EP which at the very least creates a foundation for him.
The EP starts with “Silver Sleep.” It initially sounds like a band from an alien civilization is having a sound check. The tones are warm, inviting and often unexpected as the song progresses. The sign of an inventive songwriter. That being said the song felt like it was building to something more prolific. All in all a very ambient piece.
Up next is “Tilted." The song has more energy than the opener due to percussive effects. The energy moves very little despite the layers of textures that he adds. "New Sun" contains a swelling synth and inventive percussive elements. The song has more noticeable changes than the first two songs which strategically use a vocal sample. This song felt fairly fleshed out.
"June" contains a pretty, elegant flow from the bass and guitar. Sine waves seamlessly transition making for the most ethereal piece on the album. He closes with "Melodia" which has some success. Nice bass line and solid groove.
I think he has talent and skill as a producer but I hope to hear him evolve. This type of music is not apt for lo-if in any way. It begs for clarity and separation since it's all about the details. I wouldn't call this lo-fi but it really deserves pristine production. The ride could use a little more shine with the low end being a little deeper. I'd reference Neon Golden by Notwist as the aesthetics he may want to strive for. Besides the production I'd like to hear songs that are not only a little longer but aren't afraid to go completely down the rabbit hole into unique territory.
Overall this Divide The Sky sets the grounds for better things to come for Ruffner while also displaying songs that are cohesive and easy to appreciate.
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