For 25 years Japanese avant-prog group Ruins
consisted of drummer, vocalist, and composer Tatsuya Yoshida and an electric bassist—he went through a few, and it must have been quite a task to find even one person capable of inhabiting his knotty, florid, frenzied, and exceedingly strange music with him. In recent years Yoshida has abandoned human collaborators, at least in Ruins, in favor of electronics—they're apparently the only players left who can keep up with him. About half of last year's Ruins Alone
(Skin Graft), the first album he's released this way, consists of old Ruins songs redone with multicolored synth parts that if anything sound even crazier than the original bass lines; the other half is new material conceived in this solo paradigm. No matter who he's playing with in Ruins (even if it's nobody), Yoshida infuses noodly prog rock with the chaotic, hyperkinetic energy of 80s Japanese punk, resulting in insanely information-dense blasts of sound that make even the most baroque compositions of the post-King Crimson era seem laughably simple in comparison. —Miles Raymer Yowie and Guzzlemug open.