The Ruminator is the first solo album by Steve Schmitt, the unique left handed guitarist/composer of Seattle’s surf noir combo Diminished Men. While well versed in Earth’s tides and currents, here he launches his Fenders and Danelectros through the atmosphere and into orbit. Recorded with a rag-tag assortment of cheap mics, a BETA audio cassette tape machine and other archaic recording devices, The Ruminator combines elements of sci-fi soundtracks, exotica, surf, hard rock, and a time capsule full of evocative melodies to create an unusual collection of sounds and song. Drummer Dave Abramson, of Diminished Men and Master Musicians of Bukkake, lends a hand with some bizarre recording techniques as well as his musical drums and percussion. They are also joined here by the multi-talented violinist Timba Harris of Secret Chiefs 3 for a couple of tracks.
The album opens up with “Gout”, a slow, haunting piece reminiscent of early Toho Samurai film cues, complete with reverb soaked percussion, a melancholy guitar and violin melody and a heavy, ominous atmosphere. Before long we are shot through a time warp into “Tumeric” and “The Lash”, a Meeked-out riptide of early sixty’s influenced UK surf rock and some strange blend of nerve racking twang and sci-fi baroque music. Corroded synthesizers and electrocuting spring reverbs crash land on a mirage of arid deserts and lunar oceans. As the record unfolds we are navigated through a thick atmosphere of hard charging guitars, distorted drum machines, exotica percussion and the gorgeous, otherworldly ballads of “Full Spectrum” & “Tributaries”. Teletransporting between Earth and the far reaches of his mind, The Ruminator takes us on a journey through dark side of the moon landscapes, toxic oceans and space station ghost-towns, but safely returns you the comfort of your living room. So, sit back, relax, warm up your hi-fi, and let The Ruminator do the worrying about the future for you.