Those who work for dance music magazines will happily tell you how tedious it can be opening the post every morning. While there's always a certain amount of excitement to be gained from never knowing quite what promo material you'll come across next, that soon vanishes when you realise every other package is a CD of boring electrohouse mixes, nonsensical kiddie-friendly nu-rave rubbish and plodding, middle of the road techno. Despite this, we persevere in the hope that sooner or later we'll open an envelope to find a gem - or at least a potential gem.
This morning's post had the usual array of bog standard CR2 mainroom house and bad rock made by bands with three-style haircuts and unfeasibly tight jeans. There was the odd gem, though, with the new EP from Californian all-girl trio Rubies (pictured) on Norway's Telle top of the pile.
According to their press blurb, the trio have just finished recording their debut album, which will hit stores in March 2008. On the strength of their 'I Feel Electric' EP, it could be a strong set. 'I Feel Electric' itself is quietly impressive – a winsome slice of analogue synth-pop with strangely haunting vocals from lead singer Simeone Rubi. It's very Telle - the sound of Annie if she'd been produced by Californian slackers rather than eccentric Norwegians. Max Essa remixes, adding a glossy nu-disco sheen and making the most of the trippy backing vocals.
The best thing about the EP, though, has to be Studio's remix of 'Room Without A Key'. Stockholm's kings of "scandolearic" have been in fine form this year, providing brilliant reworks of A Mountain Of One and, bizarrely, Kylie (their '2 Hearts' version made a pretty lame pop song sound fantastic). Their version of Rubies is one of their best releases yet, all multi-layered Balearic guitars, lazy beats, disconnected vocals and dubbed-out clarinets. It conjurs up visions of mid-afternoon strolls down icy Swedish beaches under the watchful glare of a weak winter sun. It's wonderful, and certainly brightened up a drab December morning here in Bristol. You can take a listen at the Rubies MySpace to get an idea what we're banging on about.
As for the Rubies, they've obviously got something about them. Apparently their album is a mix of synth-heavy downbeat pop, shiny electronic disco and winsome folk. Sounds like it could be a winner. We'll find out in the new year.
Rubies 'I Feel Electric' is released by Telle on Monday February 4th