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BEN RUSCH

Crossover Prog • Germany


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Ben Rusch biography
German born, UK based composer and multi-instrumentalist Ben Rusch is an award winning artist with a steady stream of releases to his name, composing music that he describes as compositions building on influences from pop, folk, jazz and classical on a rock music foundation.

He has won regional prizes in Germany in classical music competitions, have reached the final stages of seminational and national German rock music competitions as well as in songwriting competitions in the UK and in the international Expose Yourself competition. Besides being an able composer Rusch has also been active in the live circuit, with several hundred concerts to his name.

His latest album so far was issued in June 2010, and is called Architects of Time.

Many of his former releases appear to be hard to get hold of, but for those with a keen interest, this is Ben Rusch' stated discography, current as of June 2010:

1. The Masters of Calculated Noise
2. Dry Hard
3. Ben Rusch I
4. Ben Rusch II
5. Tales From the Troglodyte I
6. Tales From the Troglodyte II
7. Five
8. (K)einen Schritt Weiter
9. Ballads Soaked in Whiskey
10. ?
11. The Schopp Concert
12. Grale for Sale
13. sBENt
14. sBENt II
15. sBENt, the Third
16. Time
17. OH, YES!!
18. 4
19. The story of what happened on the day when the girl in the blue dress decided to stand alone in the rain
20. Architects of Time

Ben Rusch official website

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Oh, Yes!!Oh, Yes!!
Ben Rusch 2010
Audio CD$9.98

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BEN RUSCH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

BEN RUSCH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Time
2009
3.00 | 1 ratings
Oh, Yes!!
2009
3.40 | 5 ratings
Architects of Time
2010
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Truth of All Love (with Simon Charlton)
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sonic Graffiti
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
How About Now?
2010

BEN RUSCH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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BEN RUSCH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Architects of Time by RUSCH, BEN album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.40 | 5 ratings

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Architects of Time
Ben Rusch Crossover Prog

Review by Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group Admin / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars Pleasantries and nice melodies

Ben Rusch is a German multi-instrumentalist and a rather prolific recording artist, churning out album after album filled with pleasant melodic folky rock. This album, "Architects of Time," is no different. Each of the 12 tracks has a nice heartfelt personality to them, with great musicianship and feeling. However, I feel like each song has something missing. Each song, however pretty and melodically rich, seems to have little inspiration. The first few tracks of the album are really nice, but once all 12 tracks roll out of the speakers, they start to run a little dry. Overall, however, the album is full of very nice songs, and is no doubt a good album.

Out of Time is a short instrumental track with some great piano work and some nice guitar backing. With a nice new age kind of feel, the song displays a very pleasant melodic atmosphere, with ambient synth string effects nicely complimenting the piano work. Overall, the song is nothing special, but starts the album off on a nice happy note.

Robin Hood is Currently Unavailable is even shorter than Out of Time, and has a similar formula to the previous track. The piano work is again really beautiful, utilizing some really nice arpeggio-like riffing up and down the keyboard. The vocal melodies are nice and make nice harmonies with the piano. Overall, the song is again nothing remarkable, but has some really nice piano work to its name.

Architects of Time is a slower and more compassionate song. Instituting some nice viola work, the song has a nice jovial personality to it. Although many of the same themes are used again and again in the verses, each theme does have a very nice feeling to it, albeit redundant. Overall, the song offers little variation from a pretty verse-chorus-verse formula, but still has some pretty melodic work.

Where the Wild Things Are has some more strong melodies, as well as some strong lyrical work. The nice guitar and piano work compliment the quiet atmospheres backing them well. The song, although quite consistent in its thematic structure, is a pleasant show of Rusch's mastery over melody.

Double Helix has a nice sweeping manner of the progression of the track. With some nice gallop like rhythmic backings, the steady tempo and consistent rolling of the piano work make this a pleasant, but still unremarkable song. With nice atmospheric guitar work, Rusch throws in a slight post-rock feel, adding a nice dynamic to his music.

Adam and Eve has one the more traditional art pop/rock feel of the songs, opening with a nice piano riff and some traditional percussive rhythms. As with many of the other songs, the piano work is by far the strongest feature of this song. The lyrics are also a high point, with some really nice lines. Overall, the song is pleasant and melodic, but is very similar to most of the other songs on the album.

In a Thousand Years is a short guitar/viola duo, with some pleasant melodies. The song is nothing special as songs on this album go, with little more but consistent viola and guitar chords making up the track.

The Though of You Is New has some more pleasant piano riffing and some nice rhythmic work, but at thins point in the album it sounds all the same. The melodic and piano work, although really nice, seems uninspired with 7 songs almost identical to it backing it.

Hand Me a Jet Pack is one of the more creative songs on the album, with a nice folk-y feel to it and some nice mischievous sounding vocal melodies. Although the song opens as a nice variation to the rest of the album's style, some of the song does return to that jovial melodic feel seen on all the rest of the album.

Where to Put That Foot is another nice melodic piece, although it follows a similar formula to most of the other songs on the album. The piano work is again nice and melodic, and the vocal melodies are again quite nice. Overall, the song offers little new feeling to the album, although the melodies are still nice.

Covering Cold Feet With Warm Blankets is another quiet and heartfelt song. With pleasant acoustic guitar riffing and some nice piano chords behind it, and some compassionate vocals. The lyrics are again really nice, with some more really great lines. Overall, the song is pleasant, but not much else.

Time to Go is a pleasant ender, with a slow piano riff and nice viola backings. Although nothing special comes out of it, it ends the album on a pleasant melancholy note, with some traditional Ben Rusch melodic work.

ALBUM OVERALL: Architects of Time is nice. That's really all there is to say. All 12 tracks have some really pleasant melodies and nice piano work. Each track, although having its own little personality with great piano musicianship, seems to sound just like the next and the previous, each following an almost identical formula. To listen to each track individually and not in succession would be nice, but listening all the way through starts to get stale and uninspired. Pleasant and melodic art pop/rock make for a very pleasant album, but not much else. 3 stars.

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 The Truth of All Love (with Simon Charlton) by RUSCH, BEN album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.00 | 2 ratings

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The Truth of All Love (with Simon Charlton)
Ben Rusch Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Hard working, UK-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Ben RUSCH' has a staggering 25 titles to his name as of March 2011, and "The Truth of All Love" is the 23rd entry on that particular list. Unlike most of his previous and future endeavours this isn't a strict solo effort however, as one Simon Charlton have cooperated in this creation catering for most aspects of the lyrics department. And while a fine wordsmith skilled at crafting descriptions of various kinds and states of love, which this disc is dedicated to, Rusch wry humour is something of a missing element for those familiar with his other efforts.

The topic of love isn't one extensively explored in the progressively inclined universe. And while Rusch has had a few forays into the art pop section of this genre on previous occasions "The Truth of All Love" is something of a different entity. There are still sophisticated features to be found, especially some nice and fluent piano passages probably a lot more challenging to perform than what superficial hearing by a non-musician reveals, but by and large this production is one better described as singer/songwriter in general style. More sophisticated than the average explorer of this musical realm, but not enough to easily warrant an art pop tag as I see it.

My main challenge with material of this kind is that while most compositions of that ilk are pleasant and likeable efforts, it takes a lot for any of them to make an impact beyond being just that. Rusch does manage to do so on a few occasions here, I Will Love You for a Long Time Because You're Holy is a fine example of an initially sparsely instrumented, fragile effort with a nifty, layered and mood-rich chorus part. The dreamladen She Comes to Me in My Hour of Weakness is another song on my list of songs I'll listen to on regular occasions, an enchanting swirling piano motif in the verse parts and a chorus part that again features added touched of sophistication by way of rhythms and guitars adding depth and duality to the proceedings in a nice manner. Promised Land and The Ghost of You Is the Heart of Me are other tracks that in my view showcase the most interesting aspects of Rusch' work on this disc.

With a few cases of pieces that doesn't work out too well to take into consideration, my impression is that "The Truth of All Love" is a pleasant experience overall, with a few highs and a few lows averaging out to be a good but not remarkable effort. If you're fond of love songs with good quality lyrics or have a general soft sport for singer/songwriter material crafted with an eye for sophisticated details this CD should appeal, it is a well made specimen of that kind. Art rock aficionados better look elsewhere for their entertainment however, as only a token few compositions might be described as examples of that style on this particular disc.

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 Architects of Time by RUSCH, BEN album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.40 | 5 ratings

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Architects of Time
Ben Rusch Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Residing in the UK, composer and musician Ben RUSCH is an active man indeed, with more than two dozen titles to his name in a handful or so of years as a recording artist. "Architects of Time" was released in 2010, and is the 20th out of 25 production he has available as of March 2011.

A trademark feature of Rusch' production would appear to be his lyrics. He is a guy with opinions on many subjects, and sardonic commentaries on social aspects go side by side with ironic observations on matters of life, tall tales as well as lyrics handling more serious matters in a more reflective manner. He's a smooth and eloquent storyteller, and that aspect of his material has a strong identity and generally high quality. One of the better examples of his humorous intent can be found in the case of Adam and Eve, retelling the good old story from the Bible as seen through Adams eyes. Nifty piano and guitar motifs provides the instrumental foundation for a creation that holds high class in all aspects, but where the story told arguably is the main asset.

The piano is a central instrument throughout, and based on this album I'd categorize Rusch as something of a piano man. Slightly similar to an artist like Aaron English, but without the latters taste for world music and jazzy escapades. Instead Rusch appears to have stronger inclinations towards the slightly zany touch rather typical of many artists residing in the UK. And musically a band that kept popping up in my mind while enjoying this production was good old Madness. In particular on the hangover anthem Hand Me a Jet Pack.

Other notable traits are the sophisticated arrangements that appear on regular occasions. From easily audible traits such as the use of multiple guitar layers on Double Helix to the ones of a more subtle nature. Final track Time to Go a neat example of that, where piano and strings at first are used to good dramatic effect, mostly provided by the latter, but as this sad and melancholic ballad evolves the strings role in the proceedings shifts to a dampened, brooding underlying motif adding an emphasis on the serious mood of the composition which lifts this piece from a nice but average variety of this kind of song to one memorable with an impact.

High quality piano motifs and strong lyrics are the main ingredients in Rusch excursion into the world of art pop on this occasion, and those who might fancy an artist where these aspects are highly notable will most likely enjoy this production. A strong effort from a productive and creative artist.

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 Oh, Yes!! by RUSCH, BEN album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Oh, Yes!!
Ben Rusch Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars UK-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Ben RUSCH is among the busier of the music creators of our time, recording and releasing more material in one year than others do in five. "Oh, Yes!!" is listed as the 17th out of 25 items that makes up his discography as of March 2011, and was released in 2009.

And it is an album showcasing an artist with a lot of his mind. He has many thoughts, opinions and tall tales to tell, and those with a soft spot for song lyrics of the more eloquent kind will find a lot to suit their tastes in the material supplied by Rusch on this occasion. A certain taste for black humour will be needed however, as showcased by tunes such as As Good As It Gets and The Sadomasochistic Song in particular.

Musically this production resides on the borderlands between singer/songwriter and art pop in stylistic expression, with a few select left turns into folk and progressive folk territories. The pieces of a more simplistic and minimalistic nature the least effective to my ears, as many of these efforts tend to be slightly frantic in nature. Too much territory covered in too short amount of time, where a slower approach in general and for the vocals in particular would have been more effective. With aforementioned As Good As It Gets as a prime example. The lyrics does see to it that this piece as well as most others will be revisited anyhow, especially if you're in the mood for a good laugh.

Elsewhere we're treated to quite a few gems on this production. Opening effort Fission Isle with it's gently hammering piano, subtle symphonic backdrop, captivating percussional details and engaging recurring guitar solo theme a particularly strong effort, alongside the rather more experimental composition I'm Still Here (At Least I Think So), the latter utilizing sampled sounds of various kinds for percussional and resonance details, with gentle keys and vocals added to this strange but hypnotic sonic palette. Quite a few of the other songs manage to engage on a level beyond pleasant as well, like the spirited, folk-tinged number Maud's Ecstasy At the High School Prom and the preceding Celtic-inspired instrumental Blue Forest as two fine examples of just that.

If you enjoy art pop and have a liberal sense of humour alongside a general appreciation of artists with a lot on their mind presenting their thoughts, ideas and stories in a smooth and easygoing manner Ben Rusch is an artist you will enjoy getting more familiar with, and "Oh Yes!!" should be a nice place to start exploring the works of this talented guy.

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 Architects of Time by RUSCH, BEN album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.40 | 5 ratings

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Architects of Time
Ben Rusch Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Nice album from this German talent!

Once again, the advantage of being in a site like Progarchives has given me the opportunity of discover new music from bands and artists that were unknown to me, this time Ben Rusch came to my musical repertoire. I actually don't know much about him, I visited his website and now I know he has released more than twenty albums so far, and that also he used a pseudonym, so it is evident that the talent is inherent in him.

The album entitled 'Architechts of Time' is a 2010 effort created by this multi- instrumentalist, featuring twelve compositions that range from 3-4 minutes, and a total time of 41 minutes. What you will find here is a nice salad of gentle sounds, some folk and pastoral music, dreamy passages and tranquilizing tunes. His piano sound is quite good and helps the music creating passionate atmospheres.

The voice is not his stronger point, anyway it is quite decent, delicate and goes well with the music. In the third track one can appreciate a charming viola sound, which according to the credits, was not created by Ben, but by Bimbi Urquhart, it was a good decision to add this musical element.

'Where the wild things are' is such a beautiful song, the repetitive (or better said addictive) guitars are accompanied by vocals and a delicate piano sound, and create a relaxing song which is one of my favorites off this album.

The album in general is good, I would say it is easy to listen due to the charming sound and tranquility it evokes, however, it is a double-sharp weapon, because you either may enjoy it and feel relaxed, or feel bored and exhausted after some tracks, it may be too gentle for some people. There are moments where I actually felt it was enough, in tracks like 'Adam and Eve' I could not stand the voice after some minutes.

My favorite moments are the previously mentioned 'Where the Wild Things are', the opener 'Out of Time' and 'Covering Cold Feet with Warm Sheets'. There is no question about Ben's talent, but maybe this album is too light or in moments poppish to my tastes, actually the prog rock element is not really evident here, however I enjoy it.

If you are willing to discover new music, then you should try Ben Rusch, but if you are not that open minded, then this may not be for you. Three stars.

Enjoy it!

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 Architects of Time by RUSCH, BEN album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.40 | 5 ratings

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Architects of Time
Ben Rusch Crossover Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Another new name to me from the ProgArchives vaults....

Ben Rusch has released some albums during the last years and he has a lot of irons in the fire, style wise. On this album, he is more laid back. Well, from the middle of this album and out. The first minutes of this album, the first two songs in fact, is very much like a The Tangent album. And The Tangent is a good reference point together with Morrissey and in particular; Al Stewart. The format is still Ben Rusch - solo artist. But he also use piano and other tangents, guitars and viola to great effect.

The quality of the music is decent throughout. I have to admit I have started to get pretty tired to death of the rock/pop genre and Ben Rusch is in this genre. That's why I fail to engage with this album. The first song Out of Time and the title track is by far the best offerings here and they are rather good. The rest is decent and that's it. I am afraid this is a very weak three stars for me and that's it.

3 stars

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 Architects of Time by RUSCH, BEN album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.40 | 5 ratings

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Architects of Time
Ben Rusch Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams

4 stars This album, like Ben Rusch's other 2010 release, is just a bit too new agey for my tastes. But even so, I like this one more than the other release, primarily because of Rusch's songwriting. On "The Truth Of All Love", the lyrics were written by Simon Charlton. On this album Rusch wrote his own lyrics, and the album is better for it. I particularly enjoy his humor.

The music itself is quite good. The compositions are interesting and complex. The instrumentation, acoustic guitar and piano primarily, is what can sometimes give the album a new agey sound. But Rusch's matery of the instruments keep them from getting boring.

This is a pleasant album, that I will probably bring out when company is over. It's compelling, without being overbearing.

Many thanks to Ben Rusch, a PA member, for making these albums available for review.

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 The Truth of All Love (with Simon Charlton) by RUSCH, BEN album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.00 | 2 ratings

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The Truth of All Love (with Simon Charlton)
Ben Rusch Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams

3 stars First, a disclaimer: Ben Rusch sent this album with a request for a review on this site. I appreciate the free music, but I will not let that sway my opinion.

This album is my first exposure to Rusch's music. While it is not really a style I tend to gravitate towards, it does have it's merits. The album is mostly folky music, with some prog as well. Rusch has a fine singing voice, with a deep soothing tone. But it's his musicianship that gives the album it's value. His acoustic guitar playing is superb, often reminding me of John Renbourn. His piano work is often quite nice as well.

The standout songs are I Will Love You for a Long Time Because You're Holy, which, despite a cheesy title, has a sound reminiscent of Justin Heyward (of The Moody Blues), and the more energetic pieces, like The Ghost of You Is the Heart of Me and In Loneliness and Wine.

While this album often ventures a little too far into New Age territory for my tastes, I can picture it as a pleasant disk to play on the porch during a warm summer night.

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Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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