Various Artists

A Box Full of Ghosts

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Just before the experimental electronica label Gentle Giant folded, it released this very nice box set in a limited edition of 500 copies. Inside A Box Full of Ghosts, one finds three 7" singles and one CD-ROM. The singles are second prints of limited-edition releases from 1997-1999 by TV Pow/Liminal (33 rpm on black vinyl), Incapacitants/Kazumoto Endo (33 rpm on clear vinyl), and Christian Marclay/Otomo Yoshihide (45 rpm on gold vinyl). Each represents a different approach to noise: ambient, harsh, and...intricate, for lack of a better term. The pieces by Kazumoto Endo and TV Pow (a very early track, it seems) provide the best moments. The CD-ROM contains videos of Flexible Products (by Doug Lussenhop), Liminal (Thomas Deater), Melt Banana (Matt Dorbin), Otomo (Bob Scott), TV Pow (Lussenhop), and Xome (Brent Gutzeit). The durations vary from 47 seconds to nearly six minutes, and the quality ranks from a full video editing-board job to a bootleg-quality camera-in-hand shot. The best are from TV Pow again and Liminal, both because they have been thought out as something more substantial than mere documents. Melt Banana delivers a short punch-in-the-face shot in extreme lo-fi, which is rather suitable. The Otomo video shows him playing his noise guitar with a parka on. All in all, the box contains 50 minutes of good and creative noise music running the full spectrum of the genre, in collectible formats.