Team Ghost

Album Title: 
Release Date: 
Monday, March 18, 2013
Review Type: 

When Nicolas Fromageau (vocals, guitar & synths) left duo band M83 in 2004, he didn't really know what he wanted, except that he wanted to be a professional musician, and not repeat what he'd done before. So eventually he left the sunny shores of the French Riviera town of Antibes, and exchanged that for the gloomy city of Paris, where his chances to find a niche within in the music business were certain to be better.

Experimenting for a long time, he eventually settled for a sound which would combine the atmospheric synth textures of the likes of Tangerine Dream and Brian Eno with the caustic Indie Rock of Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine, and in 2009 joined forces with Christophe Géurin (also vocals, guitar & synths), Pierre Blanc (bass) and Félix Delacroix (drums), with art director Jean-Philippe Talaga acting as “phantom” member. A first EP recorded at home and entitled You Never Did Anything Wrong To Me, was swiftly picked up by UK label Sonic Cathedral (released April 2010), and following a series of shows in Paris the band was invited to join Canadian duo act Crystal Canadian on that band's European tour. Team Ghost swiftly made an impact on some important media, getting accolades from Pitchfork and NME (the latter inventing the term “Cold-Gaze – a contraction of Cold Wave and Shoegaze – to describe the band's sound), and went on to play at several UK festivals during Summer 2010. October of the same year then saw the release of the band's second EP Celebrate What You Can't See (again on Sonic Cathedral, it was again a home recording), confirming the band's signature sound. That same month the band again provided support to Crystal Casles, on the latter's UK tour. Late 2010 is also when composer (he collaborated on 3 songs of the now cult M83 album Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghost) Benoit de Villeneuve joined the band, also on vocals, guitar & synth.

Whatever happened between then and late 2011, I have no idea of, as info is lacking, but what's certain, is that's when a Japanese label picked up the two EPs and released it as the CD We All Shine. Oh wait, I dó now at least sóme bit of what the band's been up to in 2011! I mean, that's when the Rituals album was recorded, and in a professional studio this time. Before the band actually went into the studio though, Nicolas & Christophe secluded themselves in the first's own home studio, and experimented away in the creation of the synth textures. Once that was done, they went into the studio, recording the harsher band parts with the prerecorded material going through their headphones. A process which could have been nightmarishly difficult, but which worked out surprisingly well after all, according to Nicolas.

The new material is said to be somewhat poppier and more streamlined than that of the EPs, but that, again according to Nicolas, has to be seen as a natural progression, as in essence Team Ghost actually wants to rite Experimental Pop songs, and that's why song length is generally speaking relatively short (between 2:19 on the low, and 5:21 on the high end, the 12-track album has an average song length of 3:39...the ideal for a single, really!). The album was preceded in late 2012 by the single Dead Film Star (and darn me, if I didn't check the particulars – you know, possible non-album tracks, remixes, etc... as b-sides), and you can enjoy a couple of its songs (Team Ghost”, “Curtains”, “Dead Film Star”) via the Soundcloud link at the band's own (www.) Meanwhile, a new EP entitled Curtains was released which, besides fellow album track “Team Ghost”, also includes he title track and a remix of it (listen to 'em via link at the band's homepage).

I have nothing more let to say here, except that I was excited to make the acquaintance. TG hopes to be able to tour the album lavishly, and to be able to make an even bigger album next time. Although the music business is currently in one sorry state, I dó hope both of the band's wishes to come through. Meanwhile, I'm adding Rituals to my “Best Albums Of 2013”-lists! Oh...almost forgot to mention: vinyl addicts, rejoice, for the album was also released on your preferred music carrier (cost price is a little higher, but you get a copy of the album on CD as a bonus)!