Illustration by Zach Webber

Illustration by Zach Webber

Day 28 of PopLib’s May Month of Madness Marathon for NZ Music Month comes from Wellington music-futurist Paperghost and the disturbing pop construction of “BADSPIRIT”

Paperghost – the world of Zach Webbers, with a few friends sampled – is another artist associated with ‘dream-folk’ label Sonorous Circle. “BADSPIRIT” is from a new album “Signal Fingers” released in April as a T-shirt-with-download.

However if Paperghost is dream-folk it is dream-folk from the future, in which the dreams are monitored, recorded, mixed and played back on some kind of glitchy telepathic bio-ether-net.

I’m assuming this is painstakingly crafted on a computer from a mix of live and sampled music, found sounds, treated vocals and goodness knows what else. The only apparent stylistic link to other Sonourous Circle artists is the vocals which, when discernible as human, are often eerily reminiscent of Seth Frightening at his most freakish.

Whatever and however it was made, “Signal Fingers” is a brilliant album. It presents a fractured yet cohesive futurist-pop alternate-reality with enough conventional melody and rhythm to hold it together as very listenable collection of extraordinary rich and detailed subversive pop music.

Though it doesn’t sound mch like anything else, I am reminded at times throughout the album of the complex post-rock of US ensemble Tortoise and also of NZ electronic/ industrial futurist art-rock pioneers Fetus Productions classic “Luminous Trails” album. If you like music to expand your mind take a trip into the future with Paperghost.

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