A Mysterious Disk

3" CDR CEIL032



From the ever expanding universe of... well, whoever is behind... erm... hold on... there is nothing on the cover and the letter that came with it says 'a mysterious disc', but also mentions The Sand Rays. It's an ever changing name, Sand Ray, Ray Sands, Sand Rays, unleashing 3"CDRs onto the world; occasionally a few were compiled into a proper CD (see Vital Weekly 1121). The website says this: "Poking at the deepening discographical badlands", while mentioning name and title, so I guess it's not that mysterious, but poking fun at completists and such. Music wise this is all firmly rooted in the world of drone music. It is deeply atmospheric and usually made with samples of every day objects, transformed into lengthy sustaining pieces of music. However don't expect this to be one long piece of drone music, but it's not. The Sand Rays move through at least 4 different shades of a greyish sound world, even become silent at one point, and a firm break somewhere, before going through it's final stage of vinyl abuse and radiophonic pick-up. Everything is on a constant change course, so nothing stays the same for very long. While I am not too sure about the mystery game of the poking fun business, I think this is something that more people should hear than the ones now. If you are proud of what you do, show it! The Sand Rays, or who-ever, should pick a steady name and be less obscure. Their music deserves it.
-Frans de Waard


This is another mysterious disc. I have previously reviewed one of these mysterious discs by The Infant Cycle and it was quite enjoyable, if mysterious. I had not heard of the Sand Rays, but this seems to be yet another of Jim DeJong’s monikers. So with this mystery revealed, let’s get into the music itself. This is technically two tracks, but the second one is only 9 seconds, so the bulk of the disc is taken up by the first track. This is lovely, complex drone in the vein of Troum. There is a lot going on here, like listening to a chorus of synth in a windstorm. Halfway through it fakes you out by fading out, only to start again, then end, then become more noisy and crackling with sound cutting out and suddenly decreasing, then increasing in volume like your speakers are going out.
Track 2 is 9 seconds of incredibly quiet drone. So far, I have yet to hear a mysterious disc that I didn't enjoy. Quite nice. This album weighs in at around 21 minutes.
(4.5/5 stars)

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