Back in 2018 The Fear Ratio – the duo of producers James Ruskin and Mark Broom - broke a several-year silence with the release of an eponymous live EP. Fast forward to 2020 and we find the pair back in their old stomping ground of Skam Records with a new LP entitled They Can't Be Saved.
In many ways They Can't Be Saved is a signature set from The Fear Ratio. This is a record of quietly-experimental electronic music, its tracks operating largely in a space between Warp acts like Plaid and the squelching IDM of, say, Analord-era Aphex Twin. Opening track ‘Sender’ ushers us into a world of ethereal harmonies and gently-pattering programmed drums, setting the tone for the album’s pretty first third.
However, things change as we enter They Can't Be Saved’s midsection. Here we find some of the album's most technoid cuts - tracks like ‘Small World’ and ‘The Invisible Girl’ feature fidgeting beats that will have you looking over your shoulder more than once. We are also introduced to some Craven Faults-esque hauntology on ‘The Curse’. The rest of They Can't Be Saved is caught between those beautiful opening tracks and the more paranoid numbers that follow - see the disintegrating beauty of closer ‘A406’, for instance.
James Ruskin and Mark Broom have delivered They Can't Be Saved, the latest full-length from their IDM-adjacent project The Fear Ratio.