Review: The OO-Ray – Tiny Fugues (Audiobulb, Jul 3)

According to Ted Laderas, who records and performs under the alias The OO-Ray, Tiny Fugues is about “searching and finding the unexpected in the everyday.” While I’m not sure if I’d call this scintillating and celestial music “everyday,” Laderas certainly succeeds in finding, and reveling in, the unexpected. With the help of new software called the fuguelooper that transforms his cello and electronic improvisations into newly rhythmic material in real time, Laderas approaches new realms and possibilities within his sound both actively and passively. These chromatic, ambient pieces loop, cascade, and coalesce, forming beautiful clouds of dreamy sound. Much of the majesty of Tiny Fugues originates in its transparent construction; the listener hears every step of the sonic journey, from the reverent bowing of the cello strings to the effects laden electronics and their gaudy, fuzzy counterparts swirling above and around them. It’s truly expressive and emotional music, conveying so much in a wordless, abstract way; and while I’m not sure it lends itself to being as conceptually complex as Laderas states, Tiny Fugues is certainly an inciter of “curiosity and compassion.”

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