James Murray makes music that sometimes sounds like the ghosts of techno: tracks that might once have moved bodies on a dancefloor have been diffused and reduced so thoroughly that they now inhabit a wholly different space. Killing Ghosts is a suite of those ambient remnants. Released by Home Normal in an edition of 500.
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A quick gander on a well-known website at the busy discography of James Murray reveals him to be a hard-working lad. Although the description, “Ambient/downtempo artist from the UK” hardly seems adequate based on the thrilling sound-waves bleeding out of the (second set of) headphones covering my ears this afternoon.
Heavily layered and texturally deep and cooling, like an ice-cream sundae, Murray’s wide slabs of electronic sound creep up on you. Stealthily. Like a not altogether unwelcome ghost. Spectral slithers and hints of long-passed raves creep through the oozing sub-bass. Careful sound design reveals icy breaths of drone. Weighty, stalking swathes of noise-fug at first obscure the slow-mo trance and techno that lurks beneath. But when the mist clears, patterns of rhythm and joyous, revelling figures emerge. I’m coming over all wistful. My genuine reveal of the day, there. Embrace that, dear reader.
I’m off to skewer a Basic Channel record, once I get home… Anyway, ‘ambient’ just became a lot more interesting. Second fact of the day, and I'm quitting while I'm ahead.
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- Killing Ghosts by James Murray
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