Friday, May 15, 2009

Ghost Grass - Hydrogen (Wire Sounds, 2009)

Ghost Grass - Side A (untitled)

Ghost Grass is the guise under which Max Lord records. I had the opportunity to see him do a live collaboration with Karlheinz and that was the first I'd heard of either of them. Lord blew my mind with his furious drumming and I knew I had to hear some of his recorded work asap. Sadly, I procrastinated in my quest for his tunes but eventually a copy of his newest tape Hydrogen came my way and man was it worth the fuckin wait.

Hydrogen is basically a synth/electronics tape with lots of live drums. In other words, TOTALLY FUCKING AWESOME. The A side begins with all out retro sci-fi mainframe meltdown for about 4 or 5 minutes until it coalesces into something your open minded jazz loving dad might call "music." It goes from more noise/less music and vice versa until it ODs on sedatives and morphs into an organic synth drone with a pulse. Absolutely beautiful, washes of thick hypnotic waves and hidden piano. A true standout of a piece unlike anything else on the tape.

Turn it over and you're welcomed by some more electronic mayhem with hardly any live percussion to speak of. I wouldn't quite call it power electronics but it's pretty damn close. When it slows things down, it turns towards the dark side with unsettling tones and menacing rumbling. In time, the pace quickens with the addition of Lord killing his drum kit and some electronic squawks all the while remaining just as foreboding but it again returns back to the minimal scariness sans drumming. The tape finishes off with the most spare and terrifying sounds offered.

I don't know if Hydrogen is anything like the rest of Lord's recorded output. But if it is, you can guarantee that I'll be picking up some more of his ridiculously limited and rarely distributed albums. Right now, this tape is only available through Lord himself at shows or you could probably contact him and ask nicely. If you give him some money I'm sure he'd send you one.

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