At some point, it may be necessary to retire certain sources from the Disquiet.com week-daily Downstream series of legal, freely downloadable MP3s — they’re be treated the way certain jersey numbers are when they’re retired by sports teams. The list of such luminaries to be hung on the proverbial wall would include eminent podcasts, such as Touch Radio and Phoning It In, whose bounty alone could fill up a week’s postings — and it would include certain prolific musicians, such as Ooray, aka Ted Laderas.
Laderas’ main tool is his cello, which he shifts through all manner of devices until he becomes a one-man orchestra, a strings-only affair that sounds at times like the Boston Pops doing a show of My Bloody Valentine. Well, that’s an imprecise comparison — the Boston Pops would play up the melodies buried deep in the shoegazer music that MBV helped define. Meanwhile Laderas, to his listeners’ pleasure, comes at that sonic legacy from the opposite direction. His thick, rich, ethereal pieces emphasize the textures, the sonorous miasma of shoegazer pop.
Take “Lalalalah,” which he posted recently. Unlike some Ooray work, which is lush beyond ambiguity, the piece is clearly played on a cello — there’s enough slow sawing to keep that self-evident. But in time that cello is heard as one among many, perhaps an infinite many, cellos laid out to the horizon as in a carnival hall of mirrors: