Friday, April 27, 2012

Featureless Ghost – Biologically Sound Cyber-Bodies (Crash Symbols, 2012)

Featureless Ghost – Biologically Sound Cyber-Bodies
Crash Symbols 2012

Matt Weiner and Elise Trippins formed the duo Featureless Ghost in 2007 in Atlanta. They have also released material on Night-People, Ruralfaune, and Double Phantom Digital. “Brain Case” really translates their theoretical concepts into practice quite well (which, perhaps surprisingly, isn’t always the case between the translation of text/language to a non-linguistic medium, or vice versa). It utilizes retro-futurist rhythm machine aesthetics, pulsating kosmische synth arpeggiations, and lyrics based around motifs of virtuality and cyberspace. They are sung in a sort of cyborg fashion: robotic, mechanical mimicry, yet inherently tied to the limited expressions of the voice/body. The drum machine in “Data Dancer” is a bit more in-your-face and aggressive, joined by layers of repeating synth hooks, and clipping, bubbly (wordless) vocals. The textures of the instrumentation have a more ambient and glitchy consistency. The composition sounds like less work went into it than the previous track (only trying to provide an honest critique here), which in my humble opinion I found to be much better crafted. “Prophet Transmission” consists of similarly lyrical vocals heard in “Brain Case.” This time they more flanged out, which I really enjoy. The synths and drum machine are more subtle and repetitive, acting more as a support for the vocals. In tracks such as “Web Walk” and many of the others, the vocals do a fe/male trade off between Weiner and Trippins, which is often an appealing balance with a duo. The track also does a nice job with the synths, mixing more bass-y and upbeat melodies with shimmering, oceanic ambience.

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