One thing I’ve been trying to do with my reviews is to be as critical as possible. I don’t always succeed in being as objective as I can be. But then I buy an album that forces me to say pretty much all good things. Ghost by The Third Eye Foundation is such an album. After hearing people rave about it on the 4AD-L mailing list, and reading glowing reviews all over the place, I decided to check this group out for myself, and… everyone is right. This album is just too cool.
Imagine My Bloody Valentine’s “Touched” or Lovesliescrushing mixed with fractured, tortured, messed up trip-hop beats, and you’ll come close. But Third Eye Foundation doesn’t create music so much as torture it. Each and every song is full of some of the most bizarre and tortured sounds I’ve ever heard. “What To Do But Cry?” begins with a gorgeous wall of noise. But in there are muted female vocals and a string orchestra that sounds like the violins have been smashed to bits, taped back together and strung with barbed wire. Wierd? Yes. Cool? Yes.
“Corpses As Bedmates” is the album’s masterpiece, simply because it is so unnerving and disturbing. Fuzzy, crackling beats lay the foundation as sounds that could be howling ghosts, burning souls, and banshees swirl about wailing and screaming. After about 7 minutes of this chaos, the screams die down to reveal some sombre, muted synth work. “The Out Sound From Way In“ ‘s beats sound like they come from the smashing of garbage cans and sheets of metal. I can’t decide if the sounds I hear on this song resemble more freaked-out strings or the shrieks of little children.
More fractured beats show up on “I’ve Seen The Light And It’s Dark.” But this time they’re mixed with a middle-eastern chant-like melody and more droning MBV-like sounds. And when they begin to mess with beats and rhythms like they do on this song, it’s masterful work. “Ghosts…” is another favorite of mine. The track starts off slowly, as the beats slowly build and filter out around a slow drone. Then the track explodes in a beautiful MBV-like ambient piece, or maybe it’s Loveliescrushing’s Xuvetyn album. Whatever the case, there’s an almost angelic, gossamer quality about this song.
There have been rumors that MBV has been delving somewhat into jungle and trip-hop music. Shelve those rumors and buy this album instead. I suppose I could find this music danceable, but I just wouldn’t feel right afterwards. None of these tracks disappoint at all, but I have to wonder what was going through their heads while recording this album. It seems like they went out of their way to find the most unnerving and annoying sounds out there to use as instruments and beats. Tension and apprehension lie throughout this entire record, mixed with breakneck beats and rhythms. And it works beautifully.