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Review: Ray Creature's self-titled LP on Sister Cylinder Records
Posted August 25, 2014 by Sonny Blood
WRITTEN BY
Sonny Blood
ON
August 25, 2014

 

Emerging from a dark cloud known as Bloomington, IN, Ray Creature is the type of group that sounds fully formed on arrival, reaching their pale fingers into your brain and pressing the deja-vu button, giving you hooks that feel familiar on the first listen and setting a bizzaro mood.   If you consider the age of Fad Gadget, the Wolfgang Press and Depeche Mode to be a Renaissance, then Ray Creature is enlightenment.  Their self-titled LP is a vision of Mute Records-era England in a bleak panorama.

 

 

For a self-produced record, the attention to detail is uncanny: subtly trippy background noises, stereo effects and tight yet unpredictable arrangements recall a time when starry-eyed explorers sent the first probes into synth-pop.  The opening cut, “Don’t Stop Talking” (also featured on NO! Records tape) contains some of the record’s most intense moments, with schizoid dueling vocals that up the paranoia.  Natascha Buehnerkemper’s vocals provide an awesome complement to Booth, whose voice oscillates between cracked and velvety, like Bowie at his iciest.  Tracks like “Threat” and “Common Secrets” edge toward punk, while “White Suits” creeps like Scott Walker in dancing shoes.

 

The LP release sounds killer on BLACK vinyl, released by the Bloomington label Sister Cylinder.  Everything they’ve done shares a smart, minimal design, and a dark sound.  It’s good to see them branching out from self-releasing Kam Kama records to help spread the sounds of Bloomington’s darkside.  Alongside Booth’s guitar-centric side project Legs and tourmate Bad Psychic, the Sister Cylinder stable of artists represent a strong current of goth-influenced noise coming out of Bloomington in the last few years.  Ray Creature’s latest record is a high water mark for that scene.

 

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