[sic] Magazine

Stray Ghost – Each Paradise Is A Lost Paradise

Another sublime release from the prolific Stray Ghost, a young but masterful member of the current crop of ambient/drone sculptors. Stray Ghost is known as Ant Saggers to family and friends and is an artist I first found via his ridiculously epic ‘Losthilde‘ release through Highpoint Lowlife, which still rates as one of my best ever finds. Having got into contact with Ant, he recorded the excellent 20+ minute, slowly mutating deep-drone piece ‘A House of Gold And Oak‘ for Phantom Channel in late 2008. There’s tentative plans afoot for a sequel in 2010 entitled ‘A House of Majesty and Hollow‘, but lets leave that news for another day.

2009 has already been blessed with Stray Ghost’s typically monumental ‘An Avalanche of Swollen Tongues‘ through Dead Pilot, so this three-track digital-only EP through our favourite Australian-label Hidden Shoal may come as a surprise. Acting as a prequel to a sequel if you will, ‘Each Paradise..‘ is intended as a pre-cursor to ‘Losthilde II‘ which will see light of day through the same label in 2010. It’s a magisterial release, finding the Ghost in an unfamiliar optimistic frame of mind. Though much of the longing and melancholy, such a cornerstone of previous releases, is subtly hidden and reveals itself the more you listen.

‘La Belle Semaine‘ floats into view quite beautifully and progresses in this manner for several minutes, lacing light tones over a distant static backdrop before wavering frequencies take over reminding of a radio broadcast that just can’t quite reach it’s destination. A gorgeous and haunting opener. ‘A Revoir A La Belle Semaine‘ as the title may suggest is of the more mournful variety, moving at a funereal pace like church bells ringing in slow motion. Which leaves closing number ‘Réminiscences Et Rêves De Beauté‘ (Reminiscence And Dreams Of Beauty) to aptly follow its title, using the sort of stirring, slow shifting melodies that underpin the music from the likes of Stars of the Lid, The Dead Texan et al.

A surprising recording from Stray Ghost, but one that proves this youngster can do almost anything. We cannot wait for ‘Losthilde II‘

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For more from Mike please visit Phantom Channel