Thursday, April 07, 2011

Ghostbox Attack

Roj 'You Are Here' / 'The Salt Path' (feat. Wolfram Wire)
The Focus Group & The Advisory Circle [Ghost Box Free 3 Track e.p.]
The Advisory Circle 'Energy In The Home'
The Focus Group 'We Are Coming To Dance With You'

So you know the way I have been asking people for recommendations of material from the Ghost Box label? I decided to take the bull by the horns and sign up for their mailing list, which entitles you to these free downloads. So what are they like? Well, the Roj tracks are unusual in that they are by neither of the two guys who do almost all other Ghost Box releases (under such names as Belbury Poly, the Focus Group, The Advisory Circle, Old Peculiar, Uncle Jeremy's Country Ramble etc.). Roj (a former keyboardist with Broadcast) still makes music conforming to the general Ghost Box aesthetic (i.e. old-school electronic with a spooky undercurrent). However, his tunes are maybe a bit different in that they do not really sound like they were knocked off in the mid-70s on a BBC Radiophonic Workshop lunchbreak. They are also maybe a good bit more spooky than the general Ghost Box oeuvre, particularly on the track where some German guy starts mumbling away in a cryptic manner (though perhaps less cryptic or spooky if you can actually understand German).

The tracks from the other two artists are similar to each other yet distinctive. The Advisory Circle goes more for blobbly wobbly synths combined occasionally with distorted vocal samples from old TV programmes. The Focus Group go more for what sounds like collages based on samples from funny old bits and bobs, all with an oddly high-tech retro feel to them. These tracks are all interesting and definitely worth the nothing I paid for them, and they serve to further pique my interest in the Ghost Box oeuvre.

An inuit panda production

Ghost Bear

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