REVIEW: Raycord’s “Ruban Ruban”

Photobucket Ruban Ruban (Phonosaurus) is the latest project from Canadian artist Raycord, whose music is a bit unusual due to my unfamiliarity with it. Once I got into it and had a small bit of sense of what I feel he’s trying to do, I chose to listen to it again. Raycord’s press release states he creates “vibrant and atmospheric music”, which to me is a poetic way of saying that his music has the possibility of being exciting, and whether you know of his work or (like me) are new, you tend to want to know what makes it tick. It is definitely the atmospherics aspect, which to me is about more than just what he does with samples, tape machines, and computers. He uses sparsity quite well, and I wasn’t sure if certain parts of songs were meant to be that way, or they are just links that piece together other parts of the song. It’s a nice mind and sonic puzzle that I got into, and when that’s applied in a hip-hop fashion to a funky drum loop for a brief passage, it shows that he’s aware of how to control those atmospherics so that it doesn’t control him. Raycord doesn’t bow down and make copycat music, he’s in it to create and the fact that people are listening and possibly enjoying it as a bonus.

There’s a lot of punch in these tracks, and maybe that comes from blending electronic sounds in a way that sounds natural, as in “step outside, head to the hill and over it you’ll hear syncopated claps and distant echoes from a chamber torn down long ago”, that kind of thing. It’s a contradiction you may sense, but knowing that it’s mixed together helps make this an enjoyable listen.

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