Beacon – Escapements (Ghostly International album, 2016)

I reviewed the second album from New York production duo Beacon for Clash. ‘Escapements’ is a fragile, brilliant example of electronic pop subjected to brutal levels of reductionism. ‘Escapements’ is released on Ghostly International, an imprint that is fast becoming my new favourite record label.

You can read my review here.

(c) 2016 Mat Smith / Clash

ADULT. – Detroit House Guests (Ghostly International)


ADULT. have today announced details of a new collaborative project with the musical heritage of Detroit at its heart. “We want this project to bring more positive attention to the city,” says Nicola Kuperus of the duo, referring to the social and economic woes that have left the once proud industrial city ravaged by bankruptcy (Detroit is the first American city to file for the equivalent of a corporation’s Chapter 11 right to creditor protection), poverty and unemployment of a scale befitting a developing nation, not the centre of America’s automotive expansion. “We want this to be a positive, collaborative experience here in Detroit.”

For Detroit House Guests, Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller will invite collaborators into their homes as guests while they record with them. Think of the collaborators as lodgers paying their board with creativity rather than cash. The six collaborators that will work with the duo over the next seven months will be Dorit Chrysler (NY Theremin Society), Shannon Funchess (LIGHT ASYLUM), Michael Gira (SWANS, Angels of Light, Young God Records), Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (Lichens), Douglas J. McCarthy (Nitzer Ebb, DJMREX, Fixmer/McCarthy) and Lun*na Menoh (Les Sewing Sisters, Jean Paul Yamamoto, Seksu Roba).

The duo will also provide unmitigated access to the collaborative process through various social media outlets, effectively allowing both collaborator and the public access to their Detroit abode.

The resulting Detroit House Guests album will be released on the consistently fascinating Ghostly International label. The project is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Listen to Nicola Kuperus describing her aspirations for the project via the video message below.

ADULT. Detroit House Guests from ADULT. on Vimeo.

ADULT. – / @adultperiod

(c) 2014 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

HTRK – Chinatown Style (Ghostly International short film, 2014)

HTRK 'Psychic 9-5 Club' LP artwork

In my Clash review of HTRK‘s third album (Psychic 9-5 Club), I likened the smooth, sensual dubby soundscapes of Jonnine Standish and Nigel Yang‘s music to the ‘aural equivalent of Prozac’, an effect that leaves their music devoid of any discernible ups and downs.

The duo have worked with director Nathan Corbin on a short film for the track ‘Chinatown Style’, which finds the viewer following various Chinatown residents around seemingly quotidian pastimes – cooking octopus, jazz dancing and so on – all jarringly set to Standish and Yang’s ethereal ambience.

Here’s what Corbin had to say about the film: ‘I worked as a delivery boy in Manhattan in my early twenties. It’s an intimate way to experience the city. The delivery is a conduit into an extended, physical exchange. It can be erotic and psychedelic; the repetition of “opening” in a city full of guarded skyscrapers and locked doors. You float invisibly, drifting from one ambiance to the next.

‘In NYC there is fluidity between everyone. You’re constantly “encountering”people. Always entering. The energy can vary wildly with successive shifts from light to dark to light like yin-yang. You found luck! You find yourself in a utopian center: a Psychic 9-5 Club.

‘People are dancing.

‘I chose to work with people I didn’t know for the most that our interaction was new, a delivery.

‘The cinematography concept was crucial. Shoot with a wide angle lens to create that innocence. You see everything so the “gaze”… the obsessive and voyeuristic part of looking is reduced. The eye of an open heart.’

Chinatown Style can be viewed below. Probably not one to watch at work (or if you’re a vegetarian).

Thanks to Matthew @ Ghostly.

(c) Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence