” First time I saw Ghostigital totally unprepared. Seductive dancy beats of GusGus, finishing their set, were being metamorphosed into something neurotic, unsettling, even anxious. I was about to leave the beautiful, crowded NASA (one of the best music clubs in the world, in the corner of Austursvöllur square in front of Icelandic Parliament was closed this summer and will be torn down to give space for a new hotel – what a great pity!), when a man yelling into his microphone entered the stage. It was very noisy, quite chaotic and in some strange way magnetic. I had to dive into Curver’s sea of rough sounds and sharp beats, I had to watch Einar Örn making very strange movements with his hands and head and declaring something that sounded like slogans of dadaistic revolution. I was converted. It was in 2007″ writes Juraj Kušnierik
Since then I saw them several times and I keep carefully listening to their music. Ghostigital is still an enigma for me. Although I know Einar by now and know a lot about this unique band, I still don’t understand them. And each time I see their gig, or listen to a new track I am more and more fascinated.
Yesterday I listened to Ghostigital’s third album Division of Culture & Tourism for the first time in its entirety. And then I played it again and again. It is playing even as I am writing this blog.
It is extraordinary album with a very strange name. But strangeness is part of this game, so it is alright.
The album opens with soft beats and unrecognizable words, after a while it changes into a very simple rhythmical pattern under easily recognizable spelling: “g.h.o.s.t.i.g.i.t.a.l.” This first track is Ghostigital tribute by their Icelandic colleagues from the band stilluppsteypa. Then comes metallic sound and well-rounded beat, soon a buzzing guitar, drumkit and good-old scratching is added. Curver’s producing at its very best. Einar enters with anxious claustrophobia of somebody who is pushed around by people in a very crowded room. “How disapointing I am,” he says. Well, he is not. It is wonderfully built piece of music, actually, with rapper Sensational and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s guitarist Nick Zinner as guests. Sounds get thicker every second, beat changes several times. The following two tracks Dark In Here and Bursting are masterpieces of noisy music with very deep currents flowing under the ground. Einar’s anxiety is with tongue in cheek: it is always somehow funny (“I’m bursting! you can go to a restroom to relive yourself…”).
Dreamland with David Byrne is the most song-like of all the tracks on Division of Culture & Tourism. David Byrne’s singing sits very well with Einar’s rapping, who comments on David’s song and extends it into Ghostigital quarters.
Trousers with Dälek is extatic, Numb is a mid-tempo piece with many-layered sound architecture, Hovering Hoover Skates sounds like punk rock of 2010s, Scary Scary with Alan Vega of Suicide is – well – scary, scary (with a surrealistically happy seasoning), Road Rage with intense guitar solo by King Buzzo of Melvins is the noisy finale of the album.
Division of Culture & Tourism is brilliant album, because it changes with every listening. Like Russian matrioshka – you open it only to find another one inside. You listen to the album only to be more curious and you have to listen to it again.
This is punk, this is rap, this is exploration of the depths of sound, this is music for body and mind.
Well, that is how I hear it. Listen to it for yourself and make up your mind.
Here it is: Division of Culture & Tourism.
straight from ghostigital: ghostigital.spinshop.com