Ghost - Untitled [Slow Death Records - 2011]This is the first release from new French HNW project Ghost, and it’s also the first releases from new French HNW slow Death records. On offer here are four long eighteen minute plus tracks of walled noise meets often textural shifting ‘n’ atmospheric tinged sonics.
First off it’s worth mention the very original, distinctive and very unlike HNW artwork. The cdr comes in a red paper sleeve that features a drawing of an African looking women with a weird face mask on. She's holding either an deformed baby or effigy in her arms, and she's standing under a umbrella against a graffiti scrawled wall. The artwork is a great mixture of Haitian tribal art and gritty yet slight abstract urban imagery; this look is followed on in the other three releases put out thus far by the label.
So onto the sonics themselves and the four untitled tracks on offer here. The first track comes it at spot on the twenty minute mark and features two main elements- firstly there’s a fairly constant and locked mid-paced low grain jitter ‘n’ judder, then secondly there’s this shifting semi-African sounding mix of slowly juddering rumbles, creaking and wood bowing like textures. It all makes for a detailed, layered, yet oddly atmospheric and organic touched slice of wall making.
The second track is nicely sequenced so there’s there no break between it and the first track- so you get a nice jarring moment when the tracks switch. This tracks ‘wall’ is of the ower purring and juddering type; it has a great muffled, tense and deep bassy feel to it. And it mangers to pull off the feeling of constantly movement and hypnotic brood with a slowly thickening and constricting vibe.
Track three is once again nicely sequence directly from track two, and this ‘walls’ built around mid-pitched, locked, slightly hacking 'n' juddering bound static tonalities; which are under-run by this constant droning ritual like gong tone that really adds a very creepy and un-nerving edge to proceedings. The tracks a great mix of juddering and tearing brutality, and sinister/hovering brood.
Lastly we have track four which is a more straight forward example of the locked ‘walling’. It features a muffled ‘n’ thin mid-pace to slowing judder that has ever so often these eerier, distant and high pitched points appearing on the edge of it’s looped patterns. These high pitched elements rather bring to mind the barren and slightly harmonic sounds of wind blowing through a deserted village that’s made up of mud ‘n’ corrugated hut structures. It’s a nice eerier, barren yet brutal end to the album.
So this is a very, very promising first release from both the Slow death project and the slow death label. The album offers up an original and distinctive sounding HNW that’s rich with tribal yet barren atmospherics, as well as distinctive and creative artwork that nicely mirrors the sonics feel. One of the early HNW highlights of 2011!Roger Batty