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A continuation and expansion of the sound of the under-appreciated San Francisco indie-pop outfit Call and Response, Rubies comprises two of that group's members, keyboardist Simone Rubi and bassist Terri Loewenthal, both of whom contribute vocals to create a harmony-rich sound that bridges New Order-ish electronic disco, soulful seventies-styled pop and gentle California folk-rock. Rubi and Loewenthal began writing songs together as a sideline to Call and Response, developing a natural chemistry. After the band became less active, they took an opportunity to tour in Europe, where they travelled partly at the request of the Parisian-based Feist, a long-time friend who enlisted Ruby to design the cover for her album The Reminder. They were invited back again to record in Stockholm (with Karl-Jonas Winqvist of Blood Music and First Floor Power) and Bergen, Norway (where they worked with former Kings of Convenience member Eirik Glambek Bøe, their one-time Kindercore labelmate.) These sessions, which also included contributions from the Concretes' Maria Eriksson and Peter Björn and John drummer Lars Skoglund, resulted in Rubies' debut album, Explode from the Center, which was released in March 2008 by Tellé Records in Europe, and included the single "I Feel Electric," with vocals from Feist. In the meantime, Rubies supplied vocals for the song "Dreamhunt" on Japanese producer Shinichi Osawa (Mondo Grosso)'s 2007 album The One - Osawa returned the favor by remixing a Rubies' track, as did Studio and Trans Am. In addition to Rubi and Loewenthal, the globetrotting group features a revolving cast of musicians that as of Spring 2008 included guitarist Nicolas Dobbratz of Bay area electro-soul band Sugar and Gold and one of two drummers, Øyvind Skarbø and James Kim. ~ K. Ross Hoffman

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