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Ghost Rhythms — Imaginary Mountains
(Bandcamp no#, 2020, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2021-03-09

Imaginary Mountains Cover art

For their follow-up to the excellent Live at Yoshiwara (2019), French band Ghost Rhythms presents Imaginary Mountains, which is probably even better. Tracks such as “Tumuc Humac” take the listener on a wonderful trip through varying moods with interesting rhythmic interplay between piano, guitar, accordion, bass, drums, and woodwinds, combining repeated motifs like a more rock-oriented Philip Glass or a more-orchestrated Sonar, mathy guitar riffs, and wordless vocals. “Sierra de Tamuraque” condenses some of the same ideas into just over two minutes of piano arpeggios and precise guitar riffs. Several tracks, like “Oayana Circles,” take a more serene approach, gently applying the same ideas in a less rhythmic setting. “Horizontal Ascension” is one of the longer tracks, working its magic of repeating motifs into an insistent bass line under a scorching violin solo from Augustin Lusson, and as the tension builds, a cello part starts weaving among the bass notes. It’s a wonderful large ensemble, with keyboards, guitar, violin, cello, woodwinds, bass, and harpsichord featuring on nearly every track, with drums on most, plus additional players contributing vocals and a few additional guitars, piano, and flute here and there. And in spite of the expansive instrumentation, there’s a lightness to the music that manages to embody complexity without overt denseness. Imaginary Mountains is another great release from Ghost Rhythms, well worth the attention of all fans of adventurous music.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Ghost Rhythms

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