'Hungry Ghost' is a sentient being from a particular realm depicted
by Buddhist Samsara who feels strongly attached to our world; it is
also the name chosen by the mysterious protagonist of a real original
mix I'm about to describe to you. Try if you don't believe me! Weird
newcomer, bringer of fresh ideas, many good, some others unexplainably
shameful. For example it isn't clear why the man behind this monicker
always plays sinister and then often chooses such horrible vocals; that
makes me think he might not take the band too seriously, the way the
Addams family was cinema-wise for instance. Moreover, not much about
the band transpares, but I believe this is its debut CD.
The opening is entrusted to "Haunted", opened
by spooky keyboards, soft male voices, electronic beats and some trip
hop ones. Later some vocals are even a là Elvis Presley or somehow
A not reassuring and creeping bass, together with samples, looped noises,
and male vocals dear to Cramps compound "Heaven Is a Dark Place".
There's also an acoustic guitar playing a light relaxing riff.
The first masterpiece we meet is "Walk on Fire", made
with a repeated layer of keyboards, which only changes after some time,
becoming debtor to the atmospheres of 50's horror flicks; there're several
kinds of vocals, dark and also soul. The bass is deep and probably only
DJ Shadow's beats and scratches can be gloomier than the Hungry Ghost.
And now "Brooder": wha-wha guitars sampled, a distorted
bass and guitar and some female vocals aren't enough to save it. As
a matter of fact, gay vocals deign of a disgusting drag queen along
with ridiculous keyboards make it the trash of the CD. I don't have
fun when I have to be so brutal but honesty is my job and my language
is as straight as Bukowski, so you won't have to be surprised if I say
that only fanatics of 80's softcore may like this shitty song, I swear
Soon afterwards it's time for a cool electro-pop track with oriental
elements and occasional X-Files effects; lots of climaxes and relaxings;
"Lady Twilight" is a high quality song where the keyboards
are the best of all the record; somehow remind me of the ones utilised
by 80's greatest bands like Level 42. Thumbs up!
Simply fantasmagoric the sonic landscapes contained in "Scary
Town"; an arpeggio, a few reverberated male vocals, later duetting
with female ones; beats, keyboards and recitative male vocals, a prolonged
keyboards sound, Japanese flavored-scales with a flute make it an absolutely
unconventional composition. It's up to you to take your conclusions:
a mad chap or a genius? Sometimes the edge line can be very subtle.
Things change one more time with the urban "This Cold Abyss",
tremendously sullen, but at the same time weird, with bizarre noises
and beats, low male vocals, tender female ones, theatrical keyboards;
then at last an arpeggio in the vein of the never-enough-late-lamented
Blind Melon, which doesn't last long yet. The looney keyboards notes
and the rest come back, creating a song that Marylin Manson would dig
One of the 2 songs not written by this one-man band is the wonderful
"First Kill": this is pure dreampop, gifted with powerful
EBM beats, a Pakistan/Indian mandolin or bouzouki, and catchy memorable
keyboards strongly connected with the European school of experimentalists
(Die Krupps, Einsturzende Neubauten, and some courageous gothic experimental
bands). Definitely the 2nd masterpiece of the homonymous record.
"Evil Never Dies" (nothing to do with Overkill's homonymous
song) includes triple menacious low vocals (2 male ones, of a white
and a colored man, the only guest musician, and female ones); an excellent
example of mental hypnotism, seduction and horror. Use this track before
starting your séance to establish the right atmosphere. The vocals,
the keys and the samples here really have something magic, I'm not exaggerating.
An LSD intro is the prologue to "Supernatural Serenade",
afterwards tribal and ambiguous; again the same queer vocals, the spectral
keyboards already used before, a small gong, low beats, strange piano
inserts complete the picture. Not bad, yet improvable.
A sampled violin (?) opens "Frightened", continuously
characterised by a vynil ground noise; an acoustic guitar is rhythmed
by lazy beats; different male vocals (of which a few are even outa tune)
and the songwriting remind me of Dinosaur Jr.
The last composition, "She's a Mystery to Me", is also
the second not written by the mastermind's hands. A repetitive base
and some profound layers sustain the fragile male vocals; only in the
end a deviated guitar scale appears, so as to close the most suitable
Besides the 2 false moves of "Brooder" and "Frightened",
ruined by those hateful horrible vocals extraneous to the concept of
the remaining material, the CD presents an innovative act with a large
dose of inspiration; the recording is good and the artwork minimal,
but I can't but say the world needs daring people like this to let music
progress and refresh itself. So I'll forget the venial mistakes of the
debut and wait for a mature following.
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 12/6/04