Berlin’s ToiToiToi thinks of German culture and internationalism while he makes the music on Im Hag, his debut album for the Ghost Box label. The pieces here are a beautiful mixture of the rural / bucolic / acoustic and the urban / synth / electronic, ending up with a European angle on a very Ghost Boxy sound. Presented on LP and CD editions, designed with typically gorgeous Ghost Box style.
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Ghost Box releases the kind of music I’d expect the bothersome owl from Zelda: Ocarina of Time to listen to. This ToiToiToi record is the first time my suspicions with regards to this matter have been confirmed as the opening melodic warps of ‘I’m Hag’ sound pretty much exactly like his theme. Spooky and pastoral at once, this record fits the label’s project of haunted village pop, offering a small microcosm of sounds trapped in various decaying houses and town halls that no one ever visits.
This is one of my favourite haunts they’ve done, anyway: its vintage sound oddly new in the form they take, with certain synthlines sounding like pipe organs playing to no one and drums that exist in an invisible timbre between programmed and acoustic. ToiToiToi seems to experiment with disparate sounds that might never have met, if not in this isolated place: video game sounds, IDM textures and dub rhythms meet on “Mond In Asten”, with samples of silly piano and random German conversations. The whole thing sinks happily into the silliness of the Ghost Box project, offering up humour and surrealism to an oftentimes stuffy genre.
Estranged from reality by its own wonderful on-a-whim decisions to do abandon that and develop this, this record becomes a strange journey between form and formlessness, taking on steady beatwork and then dropping out of it for unstructured jazz and playful score music. ‘Im Hag’ sounds like if Ghost Box’s town of Belbury was upside down for a day.
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- Im Hag by ToiToiToi
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