2013 Artist Picks
Jane Ira Bloom

Wataru Abe
Benoît Pioulard
Jane Ira Bloom
Blu Mar Ten
Matti Bye
Maile Colbert
Viv Corringham
Ensemble Economique
Karlheinz Essl
Farthest South
Ghost Bike
Rafael Anton Irisarri
The Jaydes
Tristan Louth-Robins
Chloë March
Lubomyr Melnyk
Mental Overdrive
Ed Osborn
Xenia Pestova
Sicker Man
Thee Silver Mt. Zion M. O.
Ken Thomson
Otto A Totland
Vitiello + Berg

Compilations / Mixes
Best of Poker Flat 2013
Evolution of the Giraffe
Danny Howells
Missing Fragments

EPs / Cassettes / Mini-Albums / Singles
Richard J. Birkin
DJ Bone
Akira Kosemura
Fabrice Lig
Lilies on Mars
Nian Dub
Snoqualmie Falls
Strong Souls

Preghost: Ghost Story

Probably the greatest point of interest about Ghost Story isn't that Preghost is a supplemental alias to Kosuke Anamizu's Moshimoss but that the release, his debut under the new name, is in places so heavily rhythm-oriented. One doesn't expect to hear booming beats coming out of a track by someone whose Moshimoss releases on Dynamophone and nothings66 have concentrated on delicate ambient soundscaping. Ghost Story represents a pretty big departure, then, for Anamizu, and a not unsuccessful one either as the Japanese producer shows himself to be as adept at crafting aggressive soundscapes as those of a more restrained nature.

In a typical album track, Anamizu builds up a dense, phantasmagoric swirl from guitar washes, piano, synthetic elements, and looped vocal exhalations. The opening cut “Seeker” doesn't, in fact, sound all that much different from his Moshimoss output—until, that is, a punchy, low-end house groove appears at the four-minute mark to push the material into a whole other place; add in a few moments of soprano sax wail (by Yuichiro Kato) and you've got something thoroughly unlike Moshimoss. However, in those instances where beats are downplayed and ambient atmospheres intensified, the distance between Preghost and Moshimoss begins to seem small. And when beats are absent, such as during the opening minutes of “Cliff Edge Ghost,” Preghost can start to sound like a not too distant cousin to bvdub, especially when Ghost Story's arrangements are so multi-layered. Speaking of other artists, fellow nothings66 producer Ametsub shows up for an electronica-styled “Lostus” remix that doesn't radically reconfigure the album's overall character.

Elsewhere, the forlorn, pitch-shifted vocals included in “Snow Leopard” suggest Anamizu's been listening to Burial in recent days, though the snappy beat swing that eventually kicks in has less to do with garage than head-nodding hip-hop and rumbling dub-techno. In fact, the music rises to a such a euphoric pitch, it begins to take on an almost rave-like quality. In addition, the fifty-seven-minute collection manifests a somewhat shoegaze-like ambiance—minus the pop song structures typically found in that genre. It's all well and good, though if there's one thing Anamizu should watch out for in his future Preghost material, it's the tendency for beats to appear minutes into a track, a pattern that becomes overly noticeable as the album progresses.

January 2014