Review: Faded Ghost – Faded Ghost (Hamilton Tapes, Jun 23)

Of all the haunted, liminal lo-fi music that has found a home on Hamilton Tapes, this self-titled debut from Faded Ghost (an artist I don’t know anything about and likely never will) is perhaps the purest distillation of the Ontario label’s distinct aesthetic. Much like previous releases, there isn’t much to go on in the way of liner notes or a track list, so whether the segmented spectrality of the A side comprises a single piece or multiple individual tracks is uncertain. It turns out that uncertainty is the name of the game here, however; the ephemeral sonic sketches are just as, if not more ambiguous than their physical enclosure, drawing up a half-full bucket from the well where field recording and ambient music join with tape-recorded dreams and ghosts of ghosts unite in a stagnant lagoon. 4-track whir and muffled snatches of reality (a city street? a bowling alley?) warble alongside subdued electronic mists, the scene constantly shifting and swimming until about five or six minutes in, when a single hypnotic loop, of course draped in blankets of fuzz and dust, takes the reigns for the remainder of the spool. This earnest, unassuming transcendence flows through to the soundscapes on the other side, which are more elegiac than anything, blurred musings on and moonlit laments to something that no one is young enough to remember. It’s one thing to die; it’s quite another to fade. That is to say, the former, no matter how many loved ones are by our side, we can only do alone; the latter, as the sublime conclusion of Faded Ghost reminds us, we can do together.

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