Album Reviews

Team Ghost – Celebrate What You Can’t See EP

(Sonic Cathedral) UK release date: 11 October 2010

With the release of their debut EP You Never Did Anything To Me back in May of this year, Team Ghost announced their spectral presence to the world. A new venture for Nicolas Fromogeau, one of M83‘s founding members, it’s fair to say that his new band created something of a stir.

With Celebrate What You Can’t See the band refines their hazy mix of electronica, drone and shoegaze and takes it into more sun-kissed territory. Their debut had been referred to in some quarters as “cold-gaze” but now it would seem that there’s a distinctly warm approach slowly working its way through the sounds created by Fromogeau and his cohorts Christophe Guerin and Jean-Phillipe Talaga.

Opener High Hopes is quite possibly one of the most gloriously beautiful tracks to be released this year. It kicks off with an almost Tubular Bells chiming, which could provoke a sense of dread in those who’ve watched The Exorcist too many times. Before long soaring guitars take over and a hushed vocal steps in to soothe the more skittish listener. Once the drums take over Team Ghost head off into a musical ether that cannot be described in physical terms. They reach for the outer limits, moving gracefully through spiritual realms with aching grace; drifting through the universe of dreams and magic building their sonic tapestry as they go. Feral guitars buzz and scream to be released; electronic waves undulate as the song builds to a roaring utterly satisfying climax.

The title track keeps things more simple. A haunting instrumental, its synths float around like tendrils of smoke – beautiful but impossible to grasp. It’s Been A Long Way, But We’re Free is similar in tone, with blissful electronics scattering like shimmering summer rain. There might not be anything here to rival the pure sensory overload of High Hopes, but the entrancing motifs and delicate nature of these songs is pure joy.

Signs & Wonders finds the middle ground between the ephemeral and the forceful. With a sturdy backbeat and guitars groaning in ecstasy juxtaposed with a faint vocal and emotive strings the song takes on an all too brief majesty. The only possible complaint would be that Team Ghost let the song go after two and a half minutes. They should have revelled in the climax for longer. In this case, self-indulgence should be encouraged.

Finishing with Into My Arms, which is only available on the digital format, Team Ghost surround themselves in sci-fi spirals and shimmering stars, and cradling the listener in their arms explore the frayed ends of the imagination.

The sheer beauty contained on this EP is incredible; hopefully the wait for an entire album will not be too long. To spend only a brief amount of time in their otherworld is special and it can only leave you wanting more.

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Team Ghost – Celebrate What You Can’t See EP
Team Ghost – You Never Did Anything Wrong To Me EP