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Ghost Decibels – “Songs of Love & Death” (review)

Born from the need for catharsis in a detached society headed toward some Cyberpunk reality at the speed of a supercharged muscle car; "Songs of Love & Death" is the solo electronic project from NYHC pioneer Chaka Malik (BURN, Orange 9mm) and has been his

Born from the need for catharsis in a detached society headed toward some Cyberpunk reality at the speed of a supercharged muscle car; “Songs of Love & Death” is the solo electronic project from NYHC pioneer Chaka Malik (BURN, Orange 9mm) and has been his solo handle since 2015′.

‘Songs of Love & Death’ – The March 2020 E.P. features¬† Chaka playing all instruments and vocals (except on track #1 featuring Lady Red Ray on backing vocals) and crafting four very dark, introspective and synth riddled tracks.

 

I asked Chaka what inspired this album, Ghost Decibels he answered:

This record was inspired by my need to hear some new exciting music that has some emotional content combined with some excitement.

 

The first track opens up a soft series of tones that lull into comfort before the bass drops and all those familiar feelings of darkness and smokey emotions rush in the moment Chka’s voice speaks his first lines. The vocals are impressive and mixed very well against the driving production with a very new romantic delivery that reminds me of the 80’s bands: DAYS OF SORROW, THE WILD FLOWERS, SKINNY PUPPY, B MOVIE and, dare I say, a hint of George Lamont and Noel. Truly a fantastic opener to start any project with.

 

‘Celebrate’, the second track, follows after with a very Kraftwerk influenced vibe that carries a slight hint of that NY Freestyle element. Sue me, I can hear a subtle 80’s freestyle vibe on this track.

When asked what were his influences on this project, Chaka replied:

Bands that inspired my were YAZ, Pet Shop Boys, Human League, Joy Division, etc.

 

All those bands are some of my favorites growing up and essential for anyone looking to get into avant-garde music.

The third track, ‘Get Involved’ is the experimental delight of the album. Feeeling very Vince Clark with lyrics that resonate and permeate the disjointed rhythms .

The final track is ‘Giza Beach’ wtih distorted guitars and hi-claps descending into electro-synth boom baps; this is probably the song I will dedicate to my girlfriend ASAP. Truly dark imagery and isolating imagery highlighted by organs in the distant background. It’s the Candyman slowdance we’ve all danced in our heads when remembering someone, something or someplace. The guitars carry you out and close the E.P. with an abruptness that begs you to want more. more. more.

I recommend this album for anyone in the New Retro or Vapor scene that’s looking for something a lil more left of center and fleshed out than the revolving door of New retro and synth producers saturating the scene. It’s worth your listening ears intrigue and more than worth your dollar.

Go listen to SONGS OF LOVE & DEATH @https://wardancerecords.bandcamp.com/track/something-to-live-for

Until Next week, keep it cool and in house and your fingers on that rewind button.

sam.haine@newretrowave.com

A misanthropic fiction writer and pop culture killer, originally from NYC as well loiterer of the Philadelphia area. The author of a handful of spoken word albums. Member of the Jade Palace Guard; a collective of underground lo-fi artists. Creator and author of HAINESVILLE. Currently residing in Tucson, AZ.

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