Album Review: ghosts of unknown day players | Eye Catching Music
Another weekend has come to pass and with that, another experimental release for the Sanctum to get its ears on. For nothing’s more exciting than diving into waters unknown and exploring unconventional worlds. That’s the exact case of Eye Catching Music and their debut, concept LP ‘ghosts of unknown day players’ which dwells between the real and the ideal. Without further ado…
The journey starts with old recordings playing: ‘I know what lies ahead, you have to find a brain’ – ‘You don’t want me to believe that, do you?’ instantly taking the listener into deconstructed scenarios, vintage yet futuristic, challenging the mind to create the missing pieces to an already abstract story. This concept manages to offer infinite narratives to the project, considering how every individual’s mind works based on their background and general thinking process. We are then greeted over DrumN'Bass and hosted as guests in the band’s world: ‘We’re happy to have you with us tonight and hope you come back often’. The following ‘You Are a Robot’ is again set on DrumN'Bass grounds with Bass and Guitar changing roles between devious and sensual consecutively throughout the track as we are repeatedly called ‘robots’ by a distorted vocal. We’re still in this mysterious space trying to figure out where we are and what we should expect next. ‘Everything around me became suddenly…unreal’.
The fast-paced percussion and flirty bass of ‘a Creature’ add a sense of action/adventure to the experience as we are forewarned of an undying creature that will rule the universe. The sharp chords closing the track give a piercing climax, fitting this imaginary, epic movie scene. What needs to be noted is how the contrast between the laid-back bass and aggressive guitar brings a retro quality to the music, bombastic like a cult movie but mysterious like a Film-Noir. A strange blend. ‘Gentle Coffee’, well, brings the drama over bad-tasting coffee as we are witnessing a -husband and wife- fight over it. The instrumental here is very well thought, enhancing the humour of the dialogue when its needed and over - sensationalizing it as if being served bad coffee is the end of the world. Ingeniously entertaining. The phrase ‘Sometimes we expect great things’ opens ‘Pattern of Behaviour’ taking the journey to more introspective territories, where we are recommended to stay grounded and realistic so we don’t get emotionally devastated by the harshness of reality. All that over cool, rich soundscapes, almost exotic at times. Here the synths are bright like the sun and the guitar feels green and enthusiastic like a teenager on their first date.
In the middle of this voyage, ‘Scene One Take Two’ officially binds the cinematic dimension of the album even though it has already been established way before that. We are standing into nothingness while ghastly vocals, nostalgic keys and freezing-cold ethers make the soundtrack of this out-of-body experience. It feels as if time has slowed down for us only. A creepy yet beautiful surprise for an album mostly set on earthly foundations. Only the screaming synths give away the human emotion behind the music. A round of applause opens ‘Stepping On Cats’, where, with some extra imagination, you can hear the cats actually screaming in synth language (since we are stepping on them)! And that by itself gives a unique identity to the track. Other than that, ‘Stepping on Cats’ sounds more like a long interlude. Now, ‘Humanoid’, the world’s most shocking monster, and ‘Full Moon’, the most obvious object in the nighttime sky are served with extra stardust and a reanimated sense of wonder, especially the latter. Thumping kicks, crying synths and sounds of nocturnal nature together with reverberating spacey choirs make ‘Full Moon’ a dreamy, highly emotional, standout piece. Enough to make it the highlight of the LP up to this point and the most transcending moment for sure.
Did you ever want -so much- to make a good impression on someone?’. As we are being asked to explore the ways we are perceived as well as how we perceive the world around us, the music acts as a background to an inner dialogue. Sometimes confusing, sometimes more pop, ‘Another Personality’ puts the listener into a thinking process, guided by this retro guru-ish recording that has the starring role here. Somehow, the fact that the sample sounds old and its origin is unknown, makes the speaking man seem far more mysterious and commanding compared to the way he’d sound in a real-time speech. The slow-paced beat and psychedelic - flavoured instrumental of ‘a Turning On’ make this an absolute sex song or, obviously, a jam to trip over under hallucinogenic drugs. Or both: ‘Meditation and Love’. But the track is actually a trip by itself. It’s Gaspar Noe’s ‘Enter The Void’ but make it music. Without intending to downgrade any of this album’s particles, it seems like the best was saved for last. ‘Where You Are Now’ is letting go of all the tension and slowly turns off the engines as we are coming close to the end of this ride while, on the other hand, the closing ‘Merci D'avoir Participe’ comes back harder for an encore to remember. We are left with a blazing synth solo waving us goodbye and a hilarious, laconic ‘I hope you enjoyed it, I enjoyed it’ said with paramount apathy or sublime confidence!
To sum it up, the closure holds the essence of the album in a couple of lines: ‘It's like seeing the world from a hummingbird's perspective, soaring here, soaring there, up and down and all around really fast. Then hover for moments... to relax momentarily and then fly again! Ingo Parker, MS Buckley, MC, Vambo, Russ and Manis created a body of work embracing the freedom of experimentation, the ambience of a vintage film and the nerve of rock music. A wondrous hybrid that makes us contemplate without even noticing as we are transferred into imperfect worlds where we are called to observe, feel and envision the missing parts of the story. And that goes way beyond the conventional purposes of music. Until next time, take care and enjoy the sun!
Enjoy ghosts of unknown day players here: