Ruud Lekx has been somewhat of a cult figure for quite some time now. For those deeply invested in what has come out of Holland in the last 20+ years, Rude 66 is a recognisable and notable name, but compared with your Legowelts and I-fs he still remains a bit of a fringe character. But then his music exists on the fringes too; elements of acid, electro, prog (rock/metal, not house) and wave combined with Shaunna Lekx’s vocoder alternatively throw up grinding dirges (in a good way), brisker electro and driving synth heavy ‘floor killers. He’s not shy of a catchy hook within all this as well.
Its been the best part of a decade since the last album proper, Sadistic Tendencies, and with From Reason To Ritual, released on Bordello A Parigi we are still recognisably in the world of Rude 66; indeed one thats a more tightly honed machine compared with the one that delivered the sometimes scatty Sadistic Tendencies. It even comes with a concept based on the fall out after World War 1. (I think, I can take or leave this element of the LP)
The opening I Represent the Darkness could be just as easily titled This Represents Rude 66. Taking its time going anywhere, we’ve got those recognisable 66 minor chord refrains, doom-laden vocoder, and some catchy metal riffing floating around the background that manages to not sound out of place, a rarity in this world. It’s that knack of conflating influences into a unique sound that makes Rude 66 such an enjoyable listen. In the wrong hands tracks like Without a Reason and The Edge of Time could come off as misjudged and corny but one doesn’t have to worry about this under Lekx’s guidance.
Paranoia, the album highlight, brings to mind previous cuts A Thousand Year Storm and Break The Silence; mutant electronic disco bangers that drive straight into the heart of the dancefloor. This rounds off the first half of the Lp in a very suitable manner before things take a more heads down approach with that creeping Rude acid finally making an appearance on The Triumph of Our Tired Eyes. He makes one final detour to peak time dancefloor with the chicago-influenced Burning Down the Fascination before finishing on The Ritual, a dystopian, prog influenced mood piece that reveals itself to be a subtle highlight.
Though I’ve noted my indifference to the concept behind the Lp, there is a definite consistency and flow to it all; giving us an album that actually works completely as a full listen. Lekx is comfortably existing in his own time and space where disparate, nearly contradictory influences are the norm. There may not be much here to surprise previous fans, but its consistency and quality control is undeniable and has brought me back for more, without needing to – or wanting to – pick and choose along the way.