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Phantom - Smoke And Mirrors [La Nausee - 2010]

This is a fairly interesting release from a duo featuring a Canadian former TV presenter and journalist.  Phantom lists almost all the instruments and noises they used on this CDr, but for all that this seems to be mostly a Goth/Coldwave outfit.

It does seem to grow on me a bit upon repeated listening, though.  Most of the experimental stuff is inbetween songs but it does seem to carry though the whole CD.  The downside is mostly the fact that most of the percussion is generated from a drum machine, although older readers may remember that much of Goth music used beat-boxes anyways so that befits Phantom soundwise.  There are guitars on this record so this is not a purely electronic recording.  The musicianship is quite good here too -- alot of bands of this stripe tend to be simplistic, but there's heaps of melody to go along with all the darkness.

I like a lot of the ambiance that these tracks have -- I can't imagine any Goth music that didn't have that cavernous spaciousness to it, and Phantom display it in droves here.  Indeed this is the kind of CDr you'd want to keep around for Halloween parties.  Lots of things on this record that go bump in the night.  Oh yeah, and "Love in A Void" isn't the Siouxsie and the Banshees song, although it would've been great if this duo tried to tackle a version of it.

So a very good release from an up-and-coming band that looks like it might go far with more of an established independent label's backing.  Indeed, not bad at all, and I think Phantom could be a massive outfit in the future.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Lawrence J. Patti
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