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Le Rug

Bleenex
(Omad Records)
Release Date: February 16, 2018

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Who is Ray Weiss? Cult figure or complete unknown? Icon or outcast? Hero or hermit? The answer is…yes. From the fierce following brewing around him since his teens through the various Brooklyn bands he’s led and left — not to mention all the cracks he’s slipped through — Ray Weiss is a musical enigma, exactly the type of artist to begrudgingly allow the re-release of an album he made eleven years ago. That album is Bleenex, created when Weiss went by the moniker Le Rug, and it’s the coolest damn new old thing you never heard till now.


DIY dynamo Weiss, prolific as a riot on Ritalin, wrote the 13 songs on Bleenex in a sort of spasm and played every instrument on the recording. There’s side sweet, with the candy rush keyboards of gleeful “Gloss,” the irrepressible white water percussion of “Dress,” the giddy guitars of “The Loveless Fuzz” and “Parade,” a song that won’t let your feet touch the ground. But then there’s side smack: “Gaxinthaw,” all thrashy noise; the acoustic fuck-you-folk of “St. Vincents.” Everything delivered in a twisted, intense tenor and an energy that’s not just a decade but a millennium young.


Bleenex wasn’t exactly put out in 2007; it was more like teased out — no promo, no radio, no push. Le Rug performed locally a lot — Weiss had no problem recruiting musicians to sit in for live shows — so eager fans naturally gobbled the album up. But the original intention was to shop Bleenex to major labels and may the bidding war winner run with it. When that didn’t happen, Le Rug was largely cast aside and Weiss went on to other bands, including Red Dwarf, Sweet Bulbs and the embattled Butter the Children.


Today, Weiss is somewhat ambivalent about the music he made as Le Rug. “The material feels distant to me, at this point fairly embarrassing even, but other people like it, so this is really for them,” he says of Bleenex’s at-long-last debut on boutique label Omad.


Among those “other people,” its producer, John DeNicola, who urged Weiss that the time was right for Bleenex to get its due. “Some of Ray’s material is stripped down and had been recorded in a lo-fi way, but for Bleenex we took the time to get the songs down in the way that served them best,” DeNicola says. “When I learned that Ray would be playing some shows around town, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for the album to finally get the exposure it deserves. It’s an awesome record, an unsung masterpiece that needs to be heard.”


Here’s your chance. Don’t let it slip away…

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