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Strange but not wonderful - Ghost Cauldron Invent Modest Fires

2006-03-29 18:18

Kicking off with a sample of the one armed man's sinister tone poem from David Lynch's Fire Walk with Me is certainly not the most innovative of sonic moves, but it's string-soaked sweep does sketch an evocative cinematic trip hop. As does the rather cheesy splicing together of Marlon Brando/Kurtz's iconic "the horror" murmur from Apocalypse Now on "Only at Night" with rapper Priest's incantations coming across like a spectral DJ from the other side of midnight.

From then on in, the album charts a succession of irregular sonic snapshots. From melancholic folk hued indie excursions ("See What", "Right Now") and a mid-tempo Middle Eastern mood instrumental ("Midnight Vapor") to an electro-clash disco dabble ("Disco Beat"). Collaborators abound throughout, with the ultra-hip Anti-pop Consortium adding a dose of street lyricism to the nightmarish electro-pop "Fear". However, the presence of other "underground" movers 'n shakers such as Polyrhythm Addict and Apani B. Fly ("Whole World") do little more than water down what started off as a fun, if overtly arty listen. Mis-fire of the set has to be "Garage Beat", a half-assed attempt at a f**ked up blues jam that tries hard to emulate the hopped up highs of Royal Trux but ends up merely sounding like the White Stripes on methadone.
On their debut release for trendy !k7 label, Berlin electronic duo Ghost Cauldron (aka CE.EL and Terranova's DJ Kaos) deliver a delightfully self-conscious exercise in bedroom knob twiddling deck dabbling eclecticism.


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