A lovely split cdr release from LA?s Phantom Limb imprint, this is a rather low key, yet fully compelling ride from beginning to finish. Each of these fine units contributes a single long track (both are over 20 minutes), and once you?ve settled in for an evening with this music, you?ll soon realize it?s your lucky night ? two winners for the price of one. Ghost Brames (of the Cerf) start the proceedings off with a dusty, arid and spacious piece. It?s full of subtle touches, but mostly revolves around a very simply looped and swelling guitar figure, with perfect accompaniment from harmonica, cymbal, and bells. Throw in a healthy dose of delay and some general mystery accumulation and before you know it, this is a fast ticket to blissed out hypnosis. There?s an air of confidence and surety here that mark the landscape and signal a high level of mastery at work. Before even the halfway point, Ghost Brames demonstrate they know how to stop time with their magic. It?s the sort of music that encourages an active style of listening in which auditory imagination and hallucination play key roles. If proving the adage that less is more was part of their goal, it?s a clear case of mission accomplished. I?ll be watching for more from them in the future, and in the meantime, this one?s getting lots of repeato airplay here.
The second track, from Przewalski?s Horses, occupies a similar sonic territory, at least in terms of its approach to the spatial organization of sound. Different strategies are used however, with the main apparent tools being background field recordings (e.g. a persistent low level hum, radio, tv transmissions, footsteps), various percussive elements, and guitars over top of everything. In other hands, this might suggest a pure aural mess. Thankfully there?s attention to subtlety here, and we?re never pummeled with the sound. The overall effect of listening is that of sitting in or near a room during a rather intimate set of mysteriously awkward musical (and non-musical) happenings. This effect is alternately intriguing and disconcerting. I tend toward the former, being drawn in and wanting to know more, to put the puzzle pieces together. The overall mood varies between pensive and tense. This track does inherently feel like a voyeuristic endeavor, and as such, its rewards are less traditional and ?pleasing? to the ear than the Ghost Brames half of the split. Yet given the full attention they deserve, the sounds assembled by Przewalski?s Horses have a definite magnetic power. Taken together, these are two intriguing and rewarding pieces of music. Whether you?re more compelled by the relative structure of one or the voyeuristic and abstract mystery of the other, there is a wonderful magic on display here that is well worth seeking out. 9/10 -- Eric Hardiman (8 April, 2008)