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Starving Ghosts


Starving Ghosts - Starving Ghosts

Starving Ghosts
Bored Coast - 2017


Michael Panontin
With "a heart the size of ten Greyhound buses", New Brunswick's plucky Bored Coast Records is definitely anything but boring. The Fredericton-based label is run by JE Sheehy and is in fact the primary outlet for the talented musician's many endeavours, which include his indie-rock duo Beard Springsteen, his francophone alter ego Saint-Jack and as of 2017 Starving Ghost, his left-field foray into ambient electronics. On the latter project, Sheehy notes, "I'm a huge fan of cinematic/slower instrumental music," he told CM, "and I was already spending quite a bit of time behind my computer working on songs. The title track just came out of nowhere during one of those sessions, but didn't fit Beard Springsteen's punk stuff or Saint-Jack's pop stuff."

The download-only Starving Ghosts, Sheehy tells us, unfolded in the span of a week in the midst of a typically snowy East Coast winter, which one assumes was the inspiration for such sparse, inward-looking music. The five shorter tracks - these could logically make up side one of a vinyl LP, were a physical release to exist - loop minimal piano, guitar and sundry effects into textured pieces of almost bewildering beauty. 'Starving Ghosts' nods a bit towards Debussy, while the slight guitar bits in the lead-off 'Past Apartment' recall the considerable pleasures of the Durutti Column's first few records. Side two, as it were, is a beast of a totally different sort. The twenty-minute-plus 'Un a dix sur l'echelle de l'angoisse et du malaise', something Sheehy describes as "the beauty of noise and chaos", is a panoply of ambient dissonance, at once grating and weirdly intoxicating. Admirers of :zoviet*france: or Merzbow will definitely crack a smile over this one.
         


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