ORGAN THING: John Ghost’s new album Airships Are Organisms, a delight, progressive in all the best senses of the term…

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JOHN GHOST  –  Airships Are Organisms (Sdban Ultra) –   John Ghost’s new album is a rather sublimely beautiful set of rides, actually it is one whole ride, very much a proper album, a collection of works that really need ot be played as one whole thing rather than bite of tracks on social media (which make us very wrong to be firing these track in isolation at you here on this rather fractured page). Airships Are Organisms is a beautiful album, ingenious you might say (someone else did), Airships Are Organisms  is an exploratory album, progressive in all the best senses of the term or the word or gentle giantness of it all – bits of warm electronica, bites of jazz, warm easy on the ear prog rock that’s at different times flavoured with hints of Steve Riech, of Egg, of Jaga Jazzist, of Mike Oldfield –  “Created around the Ghent guitarist and composer Jo De Geest, the Belgian sextet draw on influences from jazz, rock and post-classical music, where minimalism, electronics and a cinematic atmosphere characterize their instrumental music”. The thirteen minute build up of opening track Deconstructing Hymns is just wonderful in the way it quietly creeps up you and swells up inside without you you really noticing that warm glow that results.  Disfunctional Rabbits: The Disfunction is pure jazz, (i, not y apparently, at least on my copy) the kind of jazz hard-to-please Gentle Giant fans get excited about… Tittle track Airships Are Organisms came along before the dysfunctional rabbits. Actually it was a taste of that tittle track Airships Are Organisms that got us wanting more –  that forward movement, that metronomic almost Kraft-like flow, that restrained urgency, right on the edge but never ever breaking the speed-limit, in a leisurely rush. never illegally so, and that blissful change of gear – just yes! And yes, we are close ot the edge of being able to mention Yes, being able to mention Yes is never a bad thing. Airships Are Organisms is a wonderful piece, delightful, you’d almost say very English even though this is forthrightly European – Egg, Gentle Giant, Yes, Battles, Henry Cow, this is really a delight (delight really is the word that needs to be used too many times here) . delightfully Instrumental, all instrumental, never cluttered never over played, clearly brilliant musicians, never showing off though, never an exercise in “look-at-me-aren’t-I-clever”. I imaging the fusion heads and the jazz fiends will be getting excited about this album, more to it than that though, different elements flowing in, and it does flow so well. This is a bit of a classic, busy but never ever too busy, at times almost but not quite minimalist, an album that breathes, that flows, that excites, that kind of lets you think you have it nailed before quietly taking you off in slightly different directions, or in the case of closing piece, another beautiful piece hat the might lazily be described as neo-classical for the failed want of words to describe the excitement of well-crafted music – in the case of that final track Drones For a Sunken Mothership,  a wonderful ending, a truly progressive ending, Drones For a Sunken Mothership is probably the bravest of all pieces on this rather brave and beautifully understated album, there;s all kinds of things going in in those deceptive layers. Delightful indeed, properly good…  (sw)

John Ghost / Sdban Ultra

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