Zero 7 - Yeah Ghost
Sam Hardaker and Henry Binns return with a fourth album of downtempo instrumental experiments with folk, R’n’B, blues, gospel and groove mix-ups. Whatever they’re working with, Zero 7 always manage to combine effects to create incredible atmospheres, expertly crafted mixes, and thick, exploratory sounds.
A great example and album highlight is 'Ghost sYMbOL' which combines unsettling, ambient sound, mixed up blips and deep vocals to create a disquieting and atmospheric track. 'All Of Us' creates an incredible aural scene with homemade drum beats and electronic helicopter stutters and whirrs, which build to a dramatic upsurge with African-styled choir and a melody of understated bassy piano/strings.
Reversed sound samples in danceable “Sleeper” give a deep ominous feel to contrast with quirky pop vocals and rap, which descend into a messed up crescendo of distorted voice and electronic ray gun carried on beats and claps.
There are some lighter moments though: 'Swing' with its girl vocals, chirpy electric organ, xylophone and hand claps, is a light, sunny folk track. Surreal and experimental 'Solastalgia' has an otherworldly sound with choral, spirit-like voice samples, electronic ripples and sustained notes. Then there’s the dark indie buzz of 'Everything Up (Zizou)'; the thickly coated female vocals in 'Pop Art Blue' with Spanish guitar and – at one point – a banjo; and even a gospel choir on 'The Road' creating a stunning, syrupy curtain of sound in this touching hymn-like track.
A wonderful fusion of styles, melodies, samples and voices, Yeah Ghost has rare cross-genre appeal. This is a great gateway album for a closeted listener to get into different music styles. The insatiable creativity of Zero 7 should be heard by everyone.