TBR: 22nd February
Manifesting a realm of surreality with electronic sculpture is what Ghost Halo does best. Since the acclaimed Hyperdeath from September last year, Ghost Halo decided to bring on 3 brand new EPs each dedicated to observation, Jungian dream-imagery, and subtle society. With this first chapter, bringing on the winter, we're treated to well-prepared synthesiser volleys adjusted to fit with shady beats. It's all designed to inspire reflective introspection and imaginative speculation. Checking in at local landmarks during the dead of night, while the city folk rest their dreaming heads, Ghost Halo takes on the personality of the night-time walker, connected to the deep emotional energy that comes alive after dark.
It begins on Citadel. Wavering synths and industrial sounds mingle in a cake of snugly mixed melodic noise. A tune breaks free from the knotted waveforms and begins a snaky journey into the cosmic beyond. Below, machines churn and assemble their goods as a dancing energy observes and enjoys the engineered processes. Next is beat cycle. Making use of rhythm, the album begins to progress into its adventure. A new melody whistles in a low key over staggered and reverb rich drums. Metalwork begins to tap a regular beat while a kick-drum fills in the gaps. An emerging tune draws luminous lines in the slow moving space around us. It's a dance of contrasts, brilliant glare in the depth of thick shadow.
A whisking beat penetrates the quiet alongside a swell of metallic sound. Pot drums portray a melodic rhythm which merges perfectly with the already catchy under-section. Higher tones begin to twinkle like terracotta stars in a green-house sky, we sit and watch as the story unfolds in neatly portioned chapters. Metallic plucking notes swoop in from underneath and start a layer of subtle shimmer between the rhythmic sheets. Each taking turns, Loop Earring has a collaboration feel to it, where various perspectives and agendas meet to form one unified flow. A new melody peeks through for the next track. An eerie and disjoined loop of notes swells and becomes harmonised with on various levels. Minimal drums weld themselves on at the places where the notes meet, and the tone is set for letting our minds fill in the spaces of Ritual. Suddenly, a snare drum crashes through the window with an amplitude that tops the rest of the track. Now we're pushed into a more energetic gear and the dreamy soundscape of before has become an undercurrent of something fitting the dance-floor.
We're joined by a sombre mood with the opening of Hopeless At 0150. Being in this state of mind feels like this, drawn out breaths of musical thoughtfulness. A chime begins to spell a higher dimension to the cloud, perhaps an element of moonlight gleaming through the thinly dispersed vapours. A sleek and continuous rhythm builds in the shadows, resembling the on-going journey of traffic during the night-time hours. Those cars, who is driving them and where are they going? Have they had a good time? A reverberating depth comes forth for the next number. Nature Documentary takes us into the deepest parts of the unknown to discover what makes its home in the mysterious places. Insects buzz around and swooping leaves block our path as we tread onwards through brambly verges and tree-root bridges over washed out gorges. A dark rhythm full of surprises builds over the top, like the unpatterned yet familiar array of branches leaning out to touch our faces. A steadiness finds its way into the rhythm and the track progresses into a dream wander through unknown destinations.
Finishing on Until A Stranger Calls And Takes You Back To The Weeds, this EP inspires all kinds of imaginative story-telling. We will likely never know what gives Ghost Halo his unique blend of hard edged percussion and interwoven sonics made of various sound experiments, perhaps the enjoyment is in the mystery itself.
You can find Ritual Phonecalls by Ghost Halo on Bandcamp
Also look for Ghost Halo on iTunes
and Amazon UK
Ghost Halo is on Soundcloud
Also, you may enjoy reading Low Light and Night Photography: Art and Techniques by Neil Freeman
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
Thanks for supporting the documentation of underground electronic sounds!
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