Ghost Harmonic: Codex (CD, Metamatic, June 2015)

I’m pretty excited about this record, which is doing something genuinely new with the modern classical / ambient form (which, while basically my favourite thing in the world a few years ago, was starting to show signs of becoming just a little bit tired recently). This is collaboration, recorded over two years, between Diana Yukawa on violin and John Foxx and Benge on analogue machines and studio wizardry. For about the first half of opening track A Green Thought In A Green Shade, we’re firmly in what I would call Stars Of The Lid territory: lush, resonant strings playing long drawn-out melodies wrapped in a warm hazy of reverb. But then halfway through, there is a big warning blast from some kind of post-classical foghorn, and the mood changes: the sound becomes thinner, hollowed out, kind of like an old record being played on a gramophone in a large, empty hall — in fact, almost kind of more like The Caretaker. The rest of the album ebbs and flows between these two sounds: The Pleasure Of Ruins is a duet between the intimate violin melody and the haunting atmospherics; Dispersed Memory is all about the spooky; but then the epic We Came To This Shore once again layers the strings back in; and the (relatively) short but kind of perfectly formed title track is largely back to the lush sound we started out with — enriched with just a subtle undercurrent of analog squoosh and the lingering memory of the rather wonderful experiences which brought us here.

I bought this from Boomkat. They call it, quite correctly, Modern Classical / Ambient.

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