Ghostwriters (1981) Objects in Mirrors Are Closer Than They Appear (Red Music 001)

Ghostwriters

Objects in Mirrors Are Closer Than They Appear 

1981

Red Music 001

Produced by Jeff Cain and Charles Cohen

**** recommended

Early release from Charles Cohen, likely with his favorite instrument the Buchla Music Easel synthesizer, here working with Jeff Cain, the pair calling themselves Ghostwriters.


Dueling synthesizers, moving between playful and menacing, odd ambience and funky rhythms, worldly and other worldly, full of intentions but likely improvisations, sounding as if they were clearly influenced by Eno, Devo, and the Residents, maybe raised on Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder, avant garde artists from the worlds of jazz and electronic and the robotic pop music of the previous decade.


For a set created by synthesizers, this offers plenty of variety, opening with a mutated version of Peter Gunn (which while the song doesn’t credit Mancini, perhaps serves as a nod to Hank), side two adding vocals to the instrumentations, these elements helping reveal the blend of electro-pop and avant garde, showing perhaps a Tubeway Army influence.  This leads to a jagged version of funk which gives way to music influenced by exotica and ambience, and perhaps even Brian Wilson. The liner notes mention that this was recorded in the childhood home of Don Buchla, sounding as if they mean this literally, but perhaps they mean this metaphorically, maybe both.

Worthwhile listen for fans of Cohen or the robotic music from the 1980s.

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