apalusa Ghost Notes (LP, £9.95)label: Low Point
Ghost Notes is the long-awaited third album from Nottingham-based musician Dan Layton, aka Apalusa. Whereas Apalusa’s previous release, Obadiah, was a dense, murky affair, filled with apocalyptic imagery and impenetrable layers of sub-sonic dirt, Ghost Notes is an altogether different animal. Recorded in Nottingham during the summer of 2013, Ghost Notes saw Layton employing a ‘composition by subtraction’ approach. Starting with layers of guitar drone, granular synthesis, field recordings and manipulated vocals, Layton then stripped back all extraneous material before painstakingly assembling what remained to create this tightly focussed and microscopically detailed record. Every click, hiss and rumble is meticulously placed to provide a backdrop to an album making Ghost Notes the most accomplished record of Layton's career to date. Sinister and unsettling, yet with moments of outstanding beauty, it is an album of stark contrasts. The opening track, Revoke sounds like an ancient distress call sent from the furthest reaches of space, whilst A Million Billion Miles is arguably the single most beautiful piece in the Apalusa catalogue. Ghost Notes is very much an album in every sense of the word and one that warrants listening to from start to finish. It is a perfect document of Apalusa's constant musical evolution and the beautifully coherent structure, narrative and flow of Ghost Notes makes listening to this album a natural and compelling experience. Mastered by James Plotkin.
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