Ghost Notes is what you hear after the furious eight hour storm outside your door silences. There’s some drizzling going on, but the battering ram that is God’s wrath in the form of water is long gone, perhaps beating down another area’s atmospheric door. Ghost Notes is reminiscent of Stars of the Lid’s Avec Laudenum – the decaying, yet soaring, strings. Dan Layton has pieced together something that commands, not recommends, but commands that you listen to it from the bleak beginning to sulky end. Like Avec Laudenum (which literally means “with laudanum,” which is an opiate), Ghost Notes can act as an aural opiate. Every element Layton introduces to the mix seems to be stripped back until it has the unrelenting power to pierce in to your subconsciousness – when this cuts off, you’ll come out of the trance and wonder where the time has gone. Such is the wonder of ambient and drone music. Check out Ghost Notes below via the Bandcamp player and see what you think of it. Cheers!

The Details

Ghost Notes is the long-awaited third album from Nottingham-based musician Dan Layton, aka Apalusa.

Whereas Apalusa’s previous release, Obadiah, was a dense, murky affair, filled with apocalyptic imagery and impenetrable layers of sub-sonic dirt, Ghost Notes is an altogether different animal.

Recorded in Nottingham during the summer of 2013, Ghost Notes saw Layton employing a ‘composition by subtraction’ approach. Starting with layers of guitar drone, granular synthesis, field recordings and manipulated vocals, Layton then stripped back all extraneous material before painstakingly assembling what remained to create this tightly focussed and microscopically detailed record. Every click, hiss and rumble is meticulously placed to provide a backdrop to an album making Ghost Notes the most accomplished record of Layton's career to date.

Sinister and unsettling, yet with moments of outstanding beauty, it is an album of stark contrasts. The opening track, Revoke sounds like an ancient distress call sent from the furthest reaches of space, whilst A Million Billion Miles is arguably the single most beautiful piece in the Apalusa catalogue.

Ghost Notes is very much an album in every sense of the word and one that warrants listening to from start to finish. It is a perfect document of Apalusa's constant musical evolution and the beautifully coherent structure, narrative and flow of Ghost Notes makes listening to this album a natural and compelling experience.

Price $18.81

Thanks for rating this! Now tell the world how you feel via Twitter.
What Do You Think of This Release?
  • Buying!
  • Maybe Buy
  • Not My Style
  • Too Expensive