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Music  >>  CDs  >>  Rock/Pop

Ghost Harmonic

Codex

Ghost Harmonic Codex
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Ghost Harmonic are violinist Diana Yukawa and electronic pioneers John Foxx and Benge (John Foxx and the Maths). Working at Benge's MemeTune Studios in Shoreditch, London, they combined the purity of Yukawa's violin with the complexity and textured noise of analog machinery. As Benge puts it, "there is something very satisfying about combining Diana's beautiful 17th Century violin with a subsonic tone-blast from a Moog Modular." "It was fairly open," says John Foxx, "but I guess the underlying intention was we all wanted to see what might happen when a classically trained musician engaged with some of the possibilities a modern recording studio can offer... multi-tracking, vast notional spaces, long echoes, looping, retuning, layering, synthesisers, sound effects, vintage and cheap equipment etc. Also we wanted to improvise, since that seldom happens in the classical world. Diana was a welcome revelation... She picked up themes immediately and took them off in all directions. Very exhilarating." "There was a really good flow between us all," explains Diana. "You never know what to expect in the beginning, creating a new dynamic between three different people but I think it's our different backgrounds and influences that made everything come together with such fluidity." Using a tape delay system, Yukawa was able to play along to her own parts, layering the sound. Any background noise was treated as part of the recording. John Foxx: "I noticed an interesting effect when multi-tracking into long or complex reverbs -- certain harmonics would be suppressed or enhanced and previously unheard ones would emerge from the miasma. This can be really beautiful... I know a piece is going somewhere new when this sort of thing begins to occur." "Benge's studio is so full of character that the energy of that is embedded into the album," states Diana. The five tracks on Codex are linked into one continuous piece, by turns elegant, dark, and gently blissful. Some tracks recall the overgrown cities of Delvaux and Ernst, especially "A Green Thought in a Green Shade" and "The Pleasure of Ruins." "Dispersed Memory" has a strange, alien atmosphere, as the dreamlike languor and melting time of the opening becomes more isolated and chilling. "When We Came to This Shore" is serene but eerie, like being pulled by the tides to a submerged city or underwater forest. "Codex" closes the album with a sense of stillness and faded beauty. Limited hardcover book edition.

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