Ghost Culture - Ghost Culture
An Erol Alkan signing on a project can be no wrong. The same goes for Ghost Culture too. The hushed fragility of his vocals, coupled with his minimal instrumentation, have garnered several comparisons to Arthur Russell and his knack for crafting dark meoldies which hold your attention like a vice has been seen as a nod to Depeche Mode and other masters of the '80s synth-ballad. This is all true. What is most interesting about Ghost Culture is the way he manages to somehow simultaneously embody both sides of electronica: the back-room genius and the floor-filling hit-maker.
The Ghost Culture palette has a nostalgic warmth to it. It borrows heavily from 70s and 80s experimental German electro. Each of the ten tracks on the album seems to dilate inexplicably, each becoming more complex with prolonged exposure. Despite an ostensibly minimal set-up, he manages to create impressively expansive sound-scapes. “Mouth” carries the epic proportions of Kraftwerk's “Trans-Europa Express”, engulfing you, taking you on what could be an interminable journey. “The Fog” and “Glaciers”, on the other hand, are aching ballads, imbued with a touch of melodrama. As a whole, Ghost Culture has a delicate, almost narrative feel to it, with an unashamedly 'pop' edge that makes it instantly appealing.
Ghost Culture is a house fan's Alice in Wonderland experience – everything is curious, and nothing is quite what it appears to be. But everything is delightful.
10 The Fog