I'm utterly engrossed by the new Marconi Union album Ghost Stations. The UK trio has been doing their melange of rock, ambient, jazz, classical minimalism and electronica for well over a decade now and they really took their time on this one: two years, in fact.
Ghost Stations contains four long, episodic tracks. What blows me away is how they segue from sombre, classical sounding passages into loopy electronica is if it was the most natural thing in the world. The album twists and reconfigures their signature sounds in the most brilliant ways without losing sight of melody or lapsing into the lazy doodling of glitch music. When artists push and experiment like this, the focus on musicality is often lost. But not here.
Says the band on their website:
“People who have bought our previous records may think we’ve gone too far in this direction or that direction or that we don’t do enough of some particular aspect any more, but we’ve already done those things in our previous work and we have to keep pushing our boundaries otherwise what is the point? We want people to hear Ghost Stations and say “’What the f**k is that’ either in a good or bad way!”
“We always want to move forward and try new things, there’s no point in just treading water, so it was great to use a couple of guest musicians (Digitonal‘s Andy Dobson on clarinet and Giorgio Li Calzi on trumpet). Sometimes you need real playing, especially when it comes to feel”.