David Colohan –Walking Ghost Phase

Posted: 15 November 2020 in Albums
Tags: , , , , , ,

Cruel Nature Recordings – 13th November 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

Cruel Nature’s ongoing success in producing ultra-niche cassette releases in quantities that manage to sell out in advance of the release is impressive given not only the format, but also the times we’re living in. The label clearly knows its audience and market, with all 75 copies of David Colohan’s Walking Ghost Phase spoken for.

The album is dedicated to Walter Wegmuller, the polyartist perhaps best known for the 1973 Krautrock album Tarot, which was composed as a soundtrack to the 78-card deck with 22 major arcana cards which he designed in his capacity as a visual artist, and who died in March this year.

It contains four compositions, each precisely twelve minutes in duration and numbered I -IV. There’s a clear trajectory, if not necessarily a narrative arc, across the album, whereby the four segments segue seamlessly, yet are distinct in their form and are marked by a clear tonal variation and a sense of progression.

‘I’ begins with soft, ambient synth washes, through which bubbling modular ripples ride to give a supple yet structured krautrock feel – part Tangerine Dream, part Tubular Bells. An organ wheeze provides the undercurrent for ‘II’, but then there’s an expansive lead line that’s more progressive in its leaning, and laden with FX so as to render it unclear if it’s a guitar or a synthesize, but whatever it is, it’s noodly. The tracks takes an almost folksy turn after just a couple of minutes, but it’s a weird tripped-out electro-folk for a retro space age, and sounds like the aural equivalent of a 1960s sci-fi novel. It’s mellow but there are deep currents running barely perceptible, beneath the surface.

There’s a slow-spinning, misty drift around ‘III’, with elongated notes sounding like the heralding of a new (age) dawn. Sparse guitar echoes and hangs in the air, a dampened chord reverberates through the hazy atmosphere, prisming light in infinite, glorious hues.

This is nothing if not relaxing: Walking Ghost Phase is subtle, sedate, and there’s nothing overtly haunting, gloomy, or menacing here as Colohan conjures the essence of tranquillity over the course of an hour’s calm reflection, which culminates in ‘IV’ leafing the listener serenely toward the light illuminating the horizon.

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