Material for Review - Oct. 2020 + Nov. 2020
Ghostlawns - Motorik
Motorik is very much a fitting album title, with the krautrock pulsing strongly throughout this brilliant album from a band that are very much new to me. As a radio DJ I’m in the fortunate position of receiving a fair bit of music from bands and labels – some is good, some less so, and sometimes I’ll receive something that wows me so much I immediately order a physical copy. Motorik definitely falls into that category!
Ghostlawns’ own bio describes themselves as “a Cardiff-based musical collective that combine live drums, synths and guitars to meld massive, atmospheric electronica with a dose of sub-bass” and I can’t really improve on that!
Opening track Breaking Out is a synth psych epic, with driving beats, twisting melodies and kicks things off with a bang.
Guppy starts out with an almost Erasure like synth stab, then drops into a moody bassline and crisp punchy drums, before the main synth element comes in. Magnificent! Honestly, if you can listen to this track and not have a massive smile on your face, then I can’t help you.
The title track is one that I’ve played in radio sets on rock/indie shows and also mixed into electronic music. A tune for the head, that slowly builds and churns, with the vocal refrain in the second half complementing all manner of psychedelic elements to make it the standout track on the album.
Akademie and Y Gorwell take things down a notch, but the respite from the opening 3 track salvo works well in the album flow. These 2 tracks are perhaps the most ‘guitar/drums/bass’ tracks on the album, but the psychedelic feels are still strong in both.
Friday Sky takes the intensity down another notch, albeit with a fairly fat bassline underneath it, and picked guitar taking the lead.
Ffoi picks the energy up again, with a pulsing, slightly skewed synth doing all the driving – just as you think it is petering out, in comes some seriously wonky bass to finish things off.
Pen Mae’r Adar Yn Canu is the chill out track of the album, the calm before the storm so to speak, almost echoes of Boards of Canada in the music. Don’t get too comfortable though…
With album closer When in Cathays we suddenly have pulsing energy! The BPM count goes into overdrive, and after the relatively smooth middle section of the album things get a bit abrasive. This track would be insane live, and I can only hope to see it sometime soon. Covid-19 can get in the sea.
Any criticisms? Well, I’d like more of it! it is 9 tracks and about 45 minutes, so not really a short album, but I’m greedy so……
Also, appreciate that this is MUCH longer than 240 characters.....
Sotto Le Stelle
Effortlessly gorgeous and flowing synth work outs. Nostalgic, child-like analogue tones mixed with organic found sounds. Flowing in every respect. Crystal cut in its intention; this rises above background in its purity of design.
Genetic Effects - Aminal Prisms
So i heard the second track 'Gameplay Knuckles' from new Genetic Effects album on new I Heart Noise Mixcloud show(ep 3 in case you want to go listen) and my ears pricked up.
This has a gorgeous mix of Four Tet, Boards of Canada and any other of the brilliant electronic artists from the UK in the late 90's early 2000's.
There was a 7 year gap between the first and 2nd album, hope we don't have to wait 7 years for the 3rd album.
Aminal Prisms came out in February of 2020 via Bandcamp.