The band Partner is from Chicago and started in 2013 as a celebration between musicians. The project developed into an exploration of rhythm, textures and genres. The songs are built upon Libby Ramer’s compositions using keyboards, vocals and effects, and feature the mercurial and multifaceted drumming of Ben Billington, noir bass from Alex Nova and free form saxophone from Christmas Woods. Experiments with phrasing and from were arranged to best express the emotions of each song, and recording engineer Cooper Crain (Cave, Bitchin’ Bajas) greatly assisted in bringing these tones to canvas. Whitney Johnson (Matchess) appears on Drang and Six A.
Recorded over 2014-15, Partner’s Green To Gold was set aside for years following production. In 2020, Partner band members reconnected virtually to collaborate on the album details, welcoming a new team member in designer Drew Ryan [E.T. Habit, Courtesy]. The end result is truly a labor of love. The album feels immediate and immersive.
Ramer and Billington (Quicksails, ADT, Tiger Hatchery) previously collaborated in moody avant-prog trio Moonrises, while Nova [The Frog Rider, Order of Night] and Woods [Mickey] emerged from progressive punk outfit E.T. Habit. Later incarnations of Partner featured free jazz saxophonist Carlos Chavarria [ADT].
Partner’s songs make room for the unique voice of each instrumentalist, showcasing communication and connection through music, whether synchronized, cacophonous or in shared silence.
Green to Gold is also an alchemical journey, with references to the natural world, mysticism and transformation.
The cover art by bassist Nova, Two of Cups, painted in 2014, references the tarot card symbolizing emotional exchange and harmony from disparate parts.
Partner’s influences pull from Canterbury bands such as Egg, Hatfield & North and Soft Machine, eclectic progressive rockers Curved Air, Van Der Graaf Generator, Yes, Roxy Music, the synth pop experiments of Todd Rundgren, Annette Peacock, and the instrumental expeditions of This Heat and electric-era Miles Davis.
1. Drang (7:21)
2. Gold Rush (4:53)
3. Six A (5:20)
4. Spring (4:17)
5. Night Drift (3:56)
6. Wilds (7:10)
7. Ylangly (4:47)
Total Time 37:44
Libby Ramer – vocals, organ, piano, synth, sampler, effects
Ben Billington – drums
Alex Nova – bass
Christmas Woods – saxophone
Whitney Johnson – viola (1, 3)