Mastery is a lifetimes worth of work leading to craft a skill to as close as humanly possible. As a teenager, I used to listen to recordings of Ray Riendeau doing his insane slap chops and think, “How in the hell is he pulling that off!?!” It became my mission to learn his chops and see how the man possibly had so much control of his right hand.
In Ray’s most recent release “Space Time Continuum”, he floors me again. Not just with his incredible technical prowess, but also with an amazingly musical and complete sense of composition and songwriting.
Ray has always been an enormous fan of cosmology and science, and dedicates the album with themes based around the galactic ideas he draws inspiration from. With tracks like “Quantum Entanglement” and “The Conservation of Angular Momentum” you start to get an idea of where this is going to be headed.
Danny Handler handles drums on all tracks with special guest appearances from Marco Sfogli (Guitar), Fountainhead, aka tom Geldschlager (Guitar) and Matt Guillory (Keys); everyone on this record is a certifiable monster.
Quantum Entanglement: An amazing multi tracked duo tune between Ray and Danny. Ray lays down some incredibly tasteful and pocket grooves on his Zon RR signature and layers some incredible top melodies on piccolo bass. Very chill and open.
Multiverses: Another Ray and Danny duo tune, this time with some much crazier prog elements. The drumming is tight as all hell and Ray lays down some mind blowing arpeggio sweeps and chordal work that make you into a believer. For fans of Steven Wilson, you will dig this a lot.
Quark: A super funky drum and bass combo tune that showcases Ray’s trademark magical slap chops. This guy could slap a ham sandwich and find a pocket you didn’t know was there.
Transcend: A great and open classic prog tune with some really classy and enjoyable melodic guitar work. Reminds me a lot of Dream Theater and it showcases how Ray can play support to some incredible musicians. They keys are a very nice touch to fill in this awesome work.
The Conservation of Angular Momentum: This one gets super-heavy and is a very enjoyable metal tune. Ray lays down some very eerie and slick fretless lines that remind me a lot of Steve Digiorgio and Death. It is really cool to see someone make fretless stand out in such a nice way with such heaviness going on behind it. As always his phrasing and intonation are on point. A very cool change of pace for this record.
All in all I give this a 5 out of 5 for bass fans out there. Ray is a monster and he proves it once again in stellar fashion. Click to buy the record now!