The first album is a collection of raw, unreleased demos, live recordings, sketches and outtakes they've recorded in the past ten years. The majority of the songs seems to be influenced by bands like Nadja, Jesu and Godflesh. Long, drone-driven soundscapes float freely over pounding, almost mechanical drums. The result is often similar to the bands I mentioned earlier but sometimes there's also a dark eighies goth touch, leaning towards the sound of The Cure and also to the shoegaze of Slowdive. The result is a very interesting and entertaining album.
My personal favourite tracks on this album are the opener 'Godfather' and 'Arbeit', but none of the other songs are of a lesser quality (except maybe the short 'Lapsteel Intro', taken from a live concert). The focus lies mainly on creating heavy, (mostly) slow and epic pieces of music. Here and there, as in 'Wien/Cholinergic Part II' the duo reaches the overwhelming power of Sunn O))) but Vanessa Van Basten doesn't need to go this heavy to be convincing. If this really is 'just' a collection of outtakes, this is an extremely talented project.
Ruins: Sketches and Demos is available on Solar Ipse records. The CD comes in a well taken care of digipac. I can only recommend every fan of Godflesh, Jesu, Nadja and even Slowdive or Cocteau Twins to have a listen. I hope the hiatus is not indefinate, that's for sure.