Ghost Echo is the brainchild of Dutch musicians Remy de Wal and Karel Witte, conceived as a two-man project during lockdown. Combining their love for atmospheric synth/guitar sounds with triphop-like beats and ethereal vocal layering, the music can best be described as cinematic electro-post-rock-prog. They cite influences including Steven Wilson, A Perfect Circle, Katatonia, Massive Attack and the Blade Runner soundtracks. Clocking in at an economic 40 minutes, Ghost Echo have created an adventurous and impressive eight track debut album.
Black Era kicks off in an absorbing, cautiously euphoric fashion. An infectious tune, well sung with anthemic chorus, delicate touches, well-produced with impressive occasional guitar workouts. I could have had more of this track.
Dust is an introspective minor key excursion, almost lo-fi rhythmically, with some delicious noodlings behind an excellent vocal performance. Again, too little ending too soon, this one’s subtleties are worth the ticket price alone.
Late Night is excellent. A dark tale of a demon-haunted person, it’s dystopian imagery gives off dark vibe. Musically I hear a slight Jem Godfrey element, and overall the band have a bit of latter-day Engineers about them. They know how to create an atmosphere and hold a melody. Another one I could have had more of.
Monologue is a fleeting, ethereal interlude it seems, before the beautifully dark triphop-meets-prog of Null Void. Ocean II has a Steven Wilson vibe, cleverly crafted and hauntingly atmospheric. And what a gorgeous guitar break to close…..
Stranger on a Train is one of those songs that are the equivalent of having something on the tip of your tongue. It’s familiar yet you can’t quite place it. But forget all that, and enjoy it’s hauntingly beautiful simplicity.
The use of ambient textures and tension-building come together in an epic way in Pitfalls. I’ve not used the word soulful so far. So let me ad that to this review – this is a soaring, soulful close to an excellent album of toweringly bright highs and deeply emotional shades.
If this is what they can do in lockdown, what will happen when they get together?!
Ghost Echo are:
Remy de Wal – Guitars, synthesizers, programming and background vocals
Karel Witte – Lead vocals, guitars, synthesizers and programming
All music and lyrics by Ghost Echo
Recording, production and mixing by Ghost Echo
Mastering by Aria Mastering