(New Album Review) The OO-Ray- Vespers

A few moments into Vespers, it is clear to hear that this newest effort from The Oo-Ray (Portland-dwelling cellist and sound artist Ted Laderas) represents a huge stylistic shift. Groaning timbres and ghostly treatments give this one, originally a cassette-only release from last December via New Ruin Tapes, an imprint of my friends Lifelike Family, the vibe of dark ambience and drone-noise. I know that the glare of summer is full upon us now, but you listen to this and you’re pulled back in the spaces of a moonlit winter night, your only companions the silent trees, a distant owl. The shifting, foreboding shadows of Side A form an emotional dynamism with the more peaceful, yet still uneasy, steady swells of Side B. As electro-acoustic sound art that organically evokes both a feeling and a whole sonic environment with imagination and sensitivity, this may be one of the best offerings from The Oo-Ray, a guy whose stuff consistently stands out. Listen:

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