Thierry Lemmers over at EARlabs posted his thoughts on Ghost Frequencies this week.
“Erstlaub‚Äôs great 2007 release ‚ÄúOn Becoming An island‚Äù was one of my favorite releases of that year. Part of its charm was derived from the fact that it provided an exhilarating mixture of ambient and melodic noise which I had not heard before. Has Erstlaub succeeded to prolong his adventurous style of making music ?
After last year‚Äôs mysteriously titled ‚ÄúI Am the Line Drawn in the Sand between the Living and Dead‚Äù, Erstlaub returns to us with another of his static-laden drone works,‚ÄúBroadcasting on Ghost Frequencies”, which was most generously packed away to me by Moving Furniture Records, a small record-label owned by Earlabs‚Äô own Sietse van Erve.
As always, Dave Fyans, the man lurking behind the Erstlaub moniker, treats us on a lengthy dunking into a well filled with white noise that gently bounces and rocks around the auditive spectrum like a raft carried away on a frothing rapid. After a few minutes of gritty, subtle feedback, the music bottoms out in a more tranquil flow of drones overlapping a current of shifting sounds which seem to curl and coil in various hypnotic patterns.
The watery textures certainly make for a pleasurable ride but they sometimes lack a certain cohesion which enables the different fragments to come together in a comprehensive way. At one point, I am strangely reminded of Wolfgang Voigt‚Äôs more sedate GAS-moments but after a few moments, rumbling drones interfere to shake me out of my reverie.
However rude those awakenings may sometimes be, they do provide a sense that Erstlaub does not want to stick to comfortable patterns. As with his previous releases, the music changes pitch constantly, exploring different sound patterns and therefore avoiding tedious repetition.
As such,‚ÄúBroadcasting on Ghost Frequencies‚Äù certainly deserves praise. Although the different parts often seem to collide with another, the resulting chemistry more than makes up for it. With a single piece which clocks around forty minutes plus, Erstlaub has managed once more to keep his presentation fresh and daring, which is no mean feat by all means considering the duration. For the near future, I‚Äôm certainly game for more of these rocky rides, but I do hope that inertia does not creep in from behind.”