Erol Alkan's Phantasy label continued to work both the indie and the odd side of the dance music spectrum with the release of Ghost Culture's self-titled debut, a diverse set of electro, synth pop, and IDM that travels the sullen spaceways while keeping the listener comfortable. That comfort isn't a crass kind of cozy as the brittle beats propelling highlight "Guidecca" suggest that it's the '80s again and the stern dance genre of EBM is just about to break out of Belgium, while "Lucky" comes with the same kind of synth pop bounce as the debut album by Depeche Mode. Still, it's obvious from the off-kilter bits and other ticks that microhouse and glitch music have already happened. In other words, this is a post-'80s alternative dance fan's dream with plenty of touchstones and forgotten freshness to savor, like when "Mouth" recalls trance music before the genre went to the main room. Ghost Culture aka James Greenwood's vocals add a breathy texture, while the songs are both purposeful and right-sized. Even if Alkan's association may suggest something more banging, this debut is perfect for overcast afternoon sessions or anytime the head is melancholy while the feet crave movement.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries