The Belgium quintet Dead Man Ray possess an interesting and original style, that sounds like a cross between a barfly take of Jeff Buckley’s more contemplative moments and of a film noir soundtrack.
Originating from the town of Antwerp, Dead Man Ray was formed during 1997 by Elko Blijweert (guitar, ex-Front 242), Daan Stuyven (guitar), Rudy Trouvé (guitar; ex-dEUS), and Herman Houbrechts (drums). The band released their self-produced 1998 debut, Bercherm, via Trouvé’s label, HeavenHotel. Wouter Van Belle (keyboards) was added to the line-up following his remixing work on ‘Copy Of 78’, adding new layers to the band’s sound on 2000’s Trap, that contained songs inspired by an old Belgian cult movie (starring actor Bobbejaan Schoeppen). Later the same year, a compilation of highlights from the first two Dead Man Ray releases was issued, under the title Bercherm Trap, which was supported by tours throughout Europe. During this period Houbrechts was replaced by Karel De Backer and, after the release of the Marginal EP, Dead Man Ray briefly relocated to Chicago, Illinois, USA, to work with renowned alternative rock producer Steve Albini. The result was 2002’s Cago, a superb album recorded entirely live. In addition to their Dead Man Ray duties, most of the band’s members have issued albums with other outfits or as solo artists, and/or written soundtracks for motion pictures.