By David Demarest
Rarely can a five song EP truly overwhelm
you, but Rayon’s “Blow Away” manages to do just that to anyone giving it
a serious listen. Each one of the five songs is composed of several
different layers of sound piled on top of each other, each layer representing
a different tone and texture from the one above and below it. As
I said, under scrutiny it can get to be overwhelming.
Not that Rayon is presenting the listener
with an artless jumble of sound- quite the contrary, each layer has been
carefully treated and wonderfully composed to fill its own space and effortlessly
intertwine itself with the other elements presented. What follows
is an impossibly full sound that crowds the sense of hearing to the point
of creating a palpable presence in the listener’s other senses: The
music literally creates daydreams, with sounds suggesting colors or tastes;
long forgotten sensations released by the hint of a lost memory.
And while jamming down the road at 80 mph
might not be an appropriate home for such daydreamy tunes, Rayon is finding
its place in the music industry. With six songs already featured
in two motion pictures released in 2004 (“The Job” and “The Hollow”), Rayon
is proving itself to be the perfect fit for such a medium, where their
suggestive textures can be used to enhance the cinematic experience.
Appropriately based out of Los Angeles,
CA, Rayon was formed by Walter Ensign in 2001, and named- you guessed it-
after a rayon shirt he happened to be wearing backstage at a Echo and the
Bunnymen show. Bizarre. Ensign composes the many-layered music
and the sound is rounded out by Japanese bassist Mimi Star and put to pace
by Mark Reback on the drums. Often this trio is enhanced by guest
musicians who are literally a musical necessity to bring to life the full
dream of the Rayon sound. I mean it, this band layers as thickly
as some of the Beatles' more experimental tunes.
And of course there’s a downside to all
those layers and textures as well. It can, at times, crowd itself
out of focus which, intentionally or not, makes the music a distraction
to itself. There’s a fine line between wonderfully complex and crowded,
and at times Rayon oversteps that line in their experimentation.
But what the hell? Where would music be without overstepping boundaries?
Check out Rayon if you’re interested in a new and very complex musical
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