Heartbeat Music Collective

Reuben Stone

Loopologist Live Recording

@ Bourke St Mall 26/10/13

New Zealander Reuben Stone, Flautist, Alsion, Jones

I guess I must first start this review with a disclaimer: I have known Reuben Stone for a few years, we studied at the same small tertiary institute in New Zealand. In those days he was a colourful and talented youth – the music has changed, but the song remains the same.

The Reuben I studied with was distinctly more rock and roll, and the new sound is... groovy, dub-by... his chilled out attitude permeates the music in a distinctly 'New Zealand, (sweet as, bro)' way. The new sound is akin to Fat Freddy's Drop, Salmonella Dub or Kora. The music speaks to me and tells me tales of easier times, youthful ideals and cheaper beer... The cares of the world lift for this moment and I want to dance.

Musically, Stone is very accomplished. He possesses an experimental nature, isn't shy about increasing his instrumental lexicon. His loop work is excellent, varied and organic and his use of effects is very, well, effective. Due to technical issues he was left with only his acoustic for the first set of recording and he made it work. Without the visual stimuli, I would have been easily fooled into thinking that he had a full set up of instruments. His performance was engaging and lightly goofy for the busking atmosphere. Reuben used his rock star kneels and hip thrusts to comical advantage, and drew a decent sized crowd underneath a threatening sky - the final song (with a lovely cameo appearance by Alison Jones on flute) started even as the first drops began.

The choice to record an E.P. live on the main pedestrian mall of Melbourne is brave, he'll have to contend with the background noise of jack-hammers, horns, trams, and pedestrian ramblings, not to mention the tumultuous and indecisive Melbourne weather putting his equipment in a danger zone. It's a great stunt to pull - a full set up of cameras, Friesian cow print jacket and city street percussion. The full USB package deal (E.P, photos, footage of recording, interviews and more) should sell like hot doughnuts at Vic Market in the winter.

Awesome: The sweet grooves.

Ordinary: Jack-hammer percussion.

Tasty: Double espresso from the café on the corner of the GPO.