‘The solo project of Devon’s Mark Brend, Ghostwriter has an archaic/modern blend of elements that reminds me a bit of Paul Roland’s long-ago Gothic (not Goth) projects. The EP is composed of a single track, broken into halves, documenting an imagined walk around London in the 1930’s. Sparse keyboards and guitar, sound effects and theremin plus heavy atmosphere make for an odd, cinematic whole’. Byron Coley, The Wire.
Is This Music? have recently posted the following review:
Variety is the spice of life, they say, and this 4-track EP from Devon-based songwriter Mark Brend aka Ghostwriter confirms that.
‘Autobiographical Sketch no 1’ itself mixes what the label’s press release calls “sonic collage”, alternating with spooky film music. An under-2-minute instrumental, it doesn’t really give many clues as to what might follow.
‘Dimensions’ is divided into 2 chapters – the first piano mixed with what might be chatter from Radio Moscow, and a fine throwback to the kind of ambient and experimental music you might have experienced on late night radio in the 90s, especially when some theremin wibbles its way in.
‘Chapter 2’ goes all weird on us for a bit before settling into what could only loosely be described as a ‘groove’, again the indie sounds of 30 years ago recalled a little as the proto-electronica of Sheffield is interspersed with kind of Camberwell-style jazzy percussion.
Another short piece closes – ‘With stringed instruments a song’. The first part of that description is right, but this is no vocal in the normal sense, instead someone enthusiastically attacking a sitar. As such, it fits in perfectly. In all, a strange set that somehow works.
Donald Bush/Is This Music?
“This is an excellent record, and one can only hope that it isn’t too long a wait for a full length album.” – Benjamin Howarth, Pennyblackmagazine.
Read the full review here.
“the Dimensions EP packs in layers of enigmas whilst sustaining an enthralling overall moodscape. Moreover, it proves that there’s still plenty of musical life left to explore in the seemingly infinite realms of English eccentricity.
More please, when you’re ready Mr. Brend…”
Wonderfully written review of Ghostwriter’s EP can be found at Delusions Of Adequacy.
“And staying with strange sounds we’ve just eyed something rather tasty from ex-farina man Mark Brend. Under the guise of Ghostwriter Mr Brend has been working on some sonic mosaics with a collective of friends that include ex-farina partners Matt Gale and Tim Conway along with guest collaborations with belbury poly’s Jim Jupp and Suzy Mangion of george fame. A seven inch is imminent via the chaffinch imprint, which according to the label blurb is a ‘walk in the 1930’s in the company of Charles Williams’, who for those previously unaware was a much lauded author admired by Auden and Eliot who described his novels as ‘supernatural thrillers’ and is thought to be the inspiration behind Lewis’s ‘that hideous strength’. There are very brief sound sample of the tracks on the label’s website – ‘dimensions’ we are assuming being the full on 11 minute suite here revealed as being touched by the stilled atmospherics of a rustic flavouring, which later manifests into a decidedly demurred though tear stained lunar lullaby. Elsewhere you’ll find elements of sweetly ached piano braids dissipating into haunting sepia skinned sound spectres, much recalling it should be said the latter work of dream of tall buildings and a beautifully airy crystal tipped pop purred pretty. As to the single itself, it’s strictly limited to just 200 copies. On a related note we here are still eyeing Mr Brend’s latest tome ’the sound of tomorrow’ published by Bloomsbury – we’ve been on its case for weeks now having been somewhat blown out by Waterstones, which might mean us having to sup with the devil and visit Amazon.”
Mark Barton – God Is In The TV
There is a review of Dimensions in this month’s Record Collector:
‘These quasi-supernatural concerns, dedicated in part to Christian mystic author Charles Williams, operate along similar lines to Susan Hiller’s art installations, raising questions located at the peripheries of the temporal and otherworldly.
Tuning into Radio Raudive, by way of Ghost Box transmissions (Belbury Poly’s Jim Jupp pops in for a cameo), the four pieces here evoke a forgotten and enchanted Albion, one presided over by gnostic outriders John Dee, Arthur
Machen and Austin Osman Spare.’
Spencer Grady – Record Collector
Visit Jim Jupp’s blog site here to read what he has to say about the Ghostwriter Dimensions release.
Those lovely people at Norman Records have given Ghostwriter’s Dimensions their Single Of The Week!
Sample quote – “It’s really quite brilliant.” Read the full review here.
Online magazine Pennyblackmusic have a lovely review of the album – “the band’s name and the grim cover do absolutely no justice to their brightly jangling songs, which are of sometimes epic momentum. Let alone the exquisite vocals which remind of many great names of yesteryear and today.”
Read the full review here.
“Lucky Luke may be no more but this ‘lost’ second album is a welcome reminder of their barren, grainy beauty.” 4/5
Read Stewart Smith’s full review at The List.