Ghosting Season
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Ghosting Season

Manchester, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Manchester, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
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"Mixmag DJ mix"

ho? Manchester based duo with a penchant for krautrock, love of vintage synths and a fascination with taxidermy.

Why? Ghosting Season follow in the UK's grand tradition of leftfield electronica recalling everyone from Brian Eno, Aphex Twin right through to Burial. Their spacious soundscapes have already won them fans far and wide including Radiohead who they gave the remix treatment to and Sasha who has made them the first release on his new record label. Oh, and it appears to be mandatory to use the words 'ethereal' and 'haunting' when describing their music and you know, we don't like to break with protocol.

What can I buy? Ghosting Season's debut album, 'The Very Last Of the Saints' is out now on Last Night On Earth. - Mixmag


"Big Shot DJ mix"

There’s something truly beautiful and majestic about Ghosting Season‘s debut album, Very Last Of The Saints, released on Sasha’s Last Night On Earth label. The musical union of Gavin Miller and Tom Ragsdale (who are also known collectively as worriedaboutsatan), the pair adeptly blend elements of ambient, post-rock, techno and electronica into a quixotic signature while eschewing current musical fads and trends. The result is an album that effortlessly blazes new trails without any pomp and circumstance.

Luckily for us the duo found time to craft an exclusive Big Shot Guest Mix.

“This mix was a bit less hectic than some other mixes we’ve done recently, but really wanted to respect that fact and keep the whole thing going with a pace and groove that runs throughout its 55 minutes. Plus, as always, we wanted to keep it interesting, so threw in a few oldies,” relate the duo.

“Kuedo and Luke Abbott fitted each other so well, like they’re brothers from parallel universes or something. That Jacques Greene remix of Radiohead is a favorite of ours too, and one we love to play out as much as possible — he totally nailed that remix! Youandewan and Blondes are only recent finds for us, but we love their atmospheric, melancholic take on techno so really wanted to include them somewhere. Depeche Mode will always be a firm favorite with us too, and that Grauzone track is just too good to leave out, techno mix or not.”

Download and enjoy. - Big Shot


"CMU track stream"

Manchester-based duo Gavin Miller and Thomas Ragsdale may already be known to you as the excellent worriedaboutsatan, but currently they’re focussing on their other project, Ghosting Season.

In fact, they’re focussing particularly hard at the moment, as their debut album under this name, ‘The Very Last Of The Saints’, is due to become the first release on Sasha’s Last Night On Earth label on 14 May. And even sooner than that, they’ll be holding a launch party for the record this very Thursday.

Ghosting Season’s first release was the ‘Far End Of The Graveyard’ EP last summer, showcasing a sound more ambient than worriedaboutsatan’s. There’s an interesting juxtaposition of light and dark to it – the music sounds like it’s thought long and hard about itself and decided that everything’s actually alright, but all that introspection means it’s not quite able to express that to you fully right now. Instead it transmits a heartbreaking wave of indescribable emotion straight through your body.

You can catch Ghosting Season live at Electrowerkz in London this Thursday, with an excellent supporting line-up of Raffertie and The Slow Revolt, plus a DJ set from Graphics, while new single ‘A Muffled Sound of Voices’, an edit of which you can hear below, is due for release on 23 Apr. - CMU


"Noisey track stream and download"

Manchester duo Gavin Miller and Tom Ragsdale aka. Ghosting Season, specialize in the kind of ambient techno you can press play and just leave on for a couple of days, as it lulls you into a meditative kinda nirvana like trance. This track exclusive, a re-worked version of a song from their album The Very Last of the Saints, is ELEVEN MINUTES of clean, blissed-out beats to phase out and reevaluate your life to. - Noisey


"Drowned in Sound album review"

In music, context is key. Every album, song and man-made sound has the potential to be better understood in the right environment, under the right circumstances. This doesn’t just apply to that snooty sort of music composed for a specific location – in most cases the variables that dictate a listener’s enjoyment are far more subtle. It’s the innate understanding that The Velvet Underground & Nico is a great album, but not one you’d necessarily have on when your nana comes round for tea. It’s realising that a funeral soundtracked by Arcade Fire’s Funeral would become a pretty strange service by the time you get to ‘Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)’. It’s appreciating that The New Brigade by Iceage isn’t the best album to have on during half-time at a Premiership football match – although that would be kind of amazing.

You’ve probably worked out where we’re going here. Ghosting Season (who you might also know as worriedaboutsatan) aren’t the type of act you listen to in the car during rush hour, as horns blare and engines rev. Nor are they one to listen to on a bright, slightly overcast, bank holiday Monday afternoon (where we find ourselves putting the finishing touches to this review). In terms of their live show, the eureka moment for me came at around 11.30pm on a Saturday night, at a roller disco in Sheffield. Seeing Gavin Miller and Thomas Ragsdale pound seven shades of shit out of a drum machine, building towering electronic anthems out of ambience and atmospherics while dozens of DiSers skate round and round and round and round and… It just made sense.

But The Very Last Of The Saints, Ghosting Season’s debut album, is a far less visceral experience and it depends on an entirely different set of circumstances. Only ‘Time Without Question’ sounds like the sort of track you could lose your shit to on roller skates, with its relentless metronomic buzz reverberating in your ear and its wispy, bleepy flourishes.

Your eureka moment with the album comes when you immerse yourself in it – it’s a late night, lights off, eyes closed, headphones on sort of record. Only then will you notice the Morse code melodies of ‘Far End Of The Graveyard’ bouncing around your brain, and feel how sad it is to hear them almost swallowed whole by an encroaching, menacingly low string sample. And yet that’s nothing compared to the way ‘Follow Your Eyes’ lets piano chords pour out like teardrops landing in pools of cold water.

That’s not to say this kind of slick, intellectual electronica is in a league of its own – many of the genre’s hallmarks are present and when you hear a disembodied voice mutter, “I was, er, having a pretty rough time in my life,” a couple of minutes into ‘Lie/Through Your Teeth’, your internal cliché klaxon starts to sound in response to the spoken word sample that’s started playing. You almost start to think that Ghosting Season aren’t so special after all – that soundtracking a grim drug overdose in Hollyoaks might be all this track is good for – when along comes a killer line to convince you otherwise: “As I was gouging out his eye with my thumb, his flesh was already dead, and so I couldn’t hurt him,” that disembodied voice laughs. It’s moments like that, and the cleverly placed cello in ‘A Muffled Sound Of Voices’, which prick you like an injection of something warm and sticky, which somehow helps to keep your blood flowing during those cold, lonely nights in the city that this album was made for.

That this album can only provoke that kind of an emotional response in such specific circumstances is both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. The Very Last Of The Saints is not one for everyday listening – you might only return to it when you’re alone at 3am, and even then its impact might well be determined by your mood at the time. Nonetheless, it is an album with overwhelming potential, which often aches with sadness, but which is ultimately uplifting, and sometimes that’s just what you need to make it through the night. - Drowned in Sound


"The Quietus review"

Though Manchester-based Thomas Ragsdale and Gavin Miller have changed creative approaches repeatedly since first quietly emerging in 2006 – clutches initially full of riffs five-fingered from the 65daysofstatic rehearsal room as worriedaboutsatan - a keenness to exploring space and expanse has always existed within their output. One need only listen to the recent mix they did for The Quietus to realise that the pair's panoramic vision remains prominent, their love of film scores pronounced. "We hatched a plan to soundtrack a journey through an imaginary destination, using David Lupton's amazing album artwork of a rotting, dystopian city as inspiration", they explained of their collage that veered from everything from Thom Yorke and Sandwell District to Scuba and The Irrepressibles. Indeed, much of their previous work has always felt as though constructed with an imaginary film reel running through their minds in tandem.

So it is that despite switching their name to Ghosting Season within the past eighteen months, a different moniker hasn't necessarily yielded a complete departure, though certain aspects have undoubtedly changed. Last year the duo told The Quietus that a support slot with Shackleton in Manchester in late 2010 re-focused their direction, the shirt-drenched charge of late night clubs becoming more alluring than the early doors curfew of evening gigdom they'd settled into.

Almost as if to back up that, The Very Last Of The Saints comes out on veteran DJ Sasha's Last Night On Earth imprint and makes in part a stylistic move towards techno that was previously hinted at on last year's Far End Of The Graveyard EP.

'Time Without Question' joins the title track from that previous release as one of their most dance-orientated cuts to date, with burbles of computed instruction chattering away as though processing the stoical four to the floor rhythm that itself communicates, even if only to tersely demand movement. 'Pio' is another with its feet stuck to the sweat-sodden late night tiles, softer of edge and more reflective in its tone, it presents itself as a daybreak soundtrack, the final dance to fade of a night.

Yet the shift isn't as pronounced as one might've been led to believe. For large parts Ghosting Season continue to reach out for a broader sound beyond a rigid template. The beats have hardened and the track lengths have shortened, but The Very Last Of The Saints feels more like progression than a complete overhaul. This is a relief, for their 2009 'satan-monikered LP Arrivals possessed far too much quality to completely leave behind.

After first 'Ghost Drift's' foreboding welcoming and the return of 'Far End Of The Graveyard' in all its deep-welled pulsing glory, Miller and Ragsdale seemingly revert back to what they do best – allowing the vivid imagery mapping their minds to take control rather than the white labels they've recently heard. Much of what this album evokes isn't too far removed from the now well-trodden path of late night suburbia, of bleary-eyed journeys home and a landscape forced to shield from the harshness of artificial light long after nature has settled into dusk.

However the feel of songs like 'Follow Your Eyes' and 'Lies' go beyond such fall-back imagery and tease your neurons into further wandering, to dystopian futures, apocalyptic post-futures, created fictional experiences that stretch to worlds away.

To make a slightly skewed link to another Manchester-based artist of a different hue, it was L.S Lowry's stoic, stubborn drawings of matchstick men that garnered him a recognition that's stretched beyond his own life; yet it was the great washes of shade that made up his seascapes of trips to the northern coasts of England and their gradual blend of colours free of defined boundary that suggested a great spectrum of influence was at play. So it goes here that whilst the more defined elements - the near-constant thud of the bass drum, the rhythmic gridlines that similarly seem to emerge and fade in their visibility – provide the immediate notice, it remains the nuances of what Ghosting Season do adjacent to these that makes this record so captivating.

It wasn't a red herring they threw out by suggesting that their world was now shaped towards a more primitive euphoria, their leaner, more direct live sets and subsequently increasingly frequent small hours billings providing the proof of that. The Very Last Of The Saints doesn't exist in a similar realm though; it's full of ideas too disparate for the dance floor and possesses touchstones beyond even the vast sphere that now makes up electronica to fully fit into a genre constraint – something that is to Ragsdale and Miller's advantage on this excellent record. - The Quietus


"Beats Per Minute live review"

By the time Manchester, UK duo, Ghosting Season, set up Madison had started to feel like it might turn back into SXSW again. Along with the usual laptops and pads, the duo had brought a couple of guitars with them as well as a violin bow and drum sticks. My instinct was to look on a little skeptically as these unities between laptops, MIDI pads, and guitars don’t always end well (unless you’re Ben Frost or Yellow Swans or something), but Ghosting Season were sublime. The set started out traditionally enough with some oil stained minimal tech, but before long drumsticks were banging along a pad and both Gavin Miller and Thomas Ragsdale were wielding guitars and strumming earnest power chords and tremolo melodies beneath a million years of delay continually crushed by the kick drum. The guitars sounded like mechanical waves continually crashing over and over, building in and out of cresting mountains, accompanying the machine rhythms and amniotic-colored synths. The whole thing was, essentially, post-rock minimal techno. Like if Fuck Buttons had listened to more Chain Reaction records. - Beats Per Minute


"Little White Earbuds album review"

In the world of live electronic music, it’s common to see two Englishmen bent over a table full of drum machines and effects, resulting in noisy and abstract waves of sound. Ghosting Season, therefore, demonstrate their uncommon traits in two ways: First, Gavin Miller and Thomas Ragsdale have guitars strapped to their chest as they bend over the their table of gadgets. Second, they use these guitars to produce sublime techno in animated, energetic fashion, more akin to rock performances than electronic ones. While this visceral performance aspect may be absent on Ghosting Season’s debut album, the atmospheric pulsing is sharper, more honed, and makes for a cohesive listen beginning to end.
“Ghost Drift” starts the album with perhaps the most straightforward beat, albeit coated in skittering percussion below the kicks and a striking melody constructed out of looped guitar phrases and a multitude of effects. This and the following track “Far End Of The Graveyard” immediately call to mind some of the stellar techno coming from Modern Love. Featuring steady rhythms coupled with floating, grandiose, and otherworldly textures, you might even get away playing them in a set that includes Miles and Andy Stott. Lead single “A Muffled Sound Of Voices” takes this combination in a slower, more cinematic direction. The beat shuffles amidst shimmering guitars that mimic orchestral strings processed through a bank of delays. This more pensive sound pays off in a lovely way with the gentle “Follow Your Eyes,” perhaps one of the strongest tracks here. Piano sounds stutter into an extended melody, giving way to distorted vocals and more string-like loops. The kick is subtle but essential to the movement of this song. It’s a fantastic iteration of Ghosting Season’s elements that sees a more expansive execution on closing piece “13.”


Before we get to the end, though, the album slowing brings itself out of the dark and quiet lull that “Follow Your Eyes” created. The sequence starting with 10-minute “Lie” and “Through Your Teeth” all the way to the energetic “Time Without Question” and “Pio” is marked with inventive rhythms and beautiful passages, demonstrating a flair for making techno more than the sum of its parts. It’s quite bold, then, to cap the album with an eight-minute meditation on vocals-as-instrument that recalls some of the more melodic Sigur Rós epics. The vocals are effected and dissected to such a degree that meaning is difficult to grasp, but the heartfelt emotion pervades the lilting guitar loops and light percussion tying the piece together. The dichotomy between guitar-led music and electronic dance music has been blown apart by songs such as these and makes a strong case that electronic music composition is just like picking up a guitar and working out a tune. The Very Last Of The Saints is a special debut by interesting voices who hopefully have more to say. - Little White Earbuds


"Resident Advisor album review"

There will always be a special place in my heart for Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works, which has this peculiar sheen of beauty I've never quite been able to put my finger on. But there's something about opener "Ghost/Drift" on The Very Last of the Saints that instantly brings to mind that rarefied air of eternity, as it tunnels forever with melodies that shift subtly but massively like drifting glaciers. The synths and strings shine with a blinding brightness that imitates the cold ultraviolet above the clouds, rather than the oppressive heat of the sun.

Ghosting Season, the Mancunian duo of Gavin Miller and Tom Ragsdale, operate somewhere in the realm of ambient techno and post-rock, incorporating the emotional politics of the latter into the linearity of the former for a kind of rhythm that's heart-tugging but determined and mobile all the same. Violins abound on "Muffled Sound of Voices," layered gently to create a mood that's stirring yet never rousing, even as a beat rustles beneath. Word is the album was originally going to be released under their ambient alias worriedaboutsatan, but the duo changed their mind at the last minute. Either way you approach it, Saints is not a pure ambient album nor a techno album, and the dialogue between the two sounds keep things tastefully restrained: even the lunge at the jugular towards the end with "Time Without Question" feels padded by thousands of layers of sheer fabric. You can hear the thumping beats, but you can't really feel them thump.

Their music does seem to borrow a lot of ideas from that early Warp material akin to Aphex's more peaceful moments; it's in the austerity of the tones and the fragmented, silty breakbeats, like on "Far End of the Graveyard." The melodies are emotional but cold and inhuman like Incunabula/Amber-era Autechre, avoiding the overdramatic bent so much "melodic techno" ends up drowning in. Gregory Hoepffner provides a raspy vocal on the sedate "Follow Your Eyes" that teeters just on the edge of mawkish, but more distinctive is the monologue on centerpiece "Lie/Through Your Teeth." Through Ghosting Season's most delicate, fragile soundscape wafts a speech describing an increasingly disturbing dream, told in tones alternately detached, humorous and maniacal.

The unending, sometimes tragic beauty of The Very Last of the Saints is almost its undoing: the album's consistent suspension of lightweight metal in clouds of melody makes for a back half that feels less captivating than the incredible opening run. But far be it for me to complain about something being too beautiful; Saints is just an album that requires a lot of effort to get all the way through, but if you can, it's certainly a rewarding listen. - Resident Advisor


"Live review"

Ghosting Season were a real treat.

Despite a lack of classic Kazimier atmosphere Ghosting Season were still doing their best efforts to rock it, with probably the most building shaking bass beats I've ever heard.

Maybe sitting down by the PA helped this. According to interviews despite have identical members, Ghosting Season are not worriedaboutsatan, what this means I'm not totally sure, they've reduced the dubstep and augmented the techno, and are less ambient and now more about beats. It was good - Peter Guy's Get Into This


"EP review"

Intriguing debut release of Shoegaze/Post-Rock informed electronics from Ghosting Season and their host label, This Is It Forever. 'Far End Of The Graveyard' opens a portal into a world of crisp, laptop-processed beats, swooning string arrangements and widescreen atmospheres, synchronizing the two with a refined aesthetic equally adaptable to the 'floor or in-house listening. The titular opener shares much in common with Pantha Du Prince, from the fluid rolling mnml Tech-House rhythms to the arcing guitars and plangent ambience. Next, 'Exercise Us' slips into Byzantine Dubstep mode, sweeping strings add a rich romance to sonorous subs and whip-cracking snares, before a brief beatless breather on 'Washed Ashore'. 'Dead Man's Switch' concludes with a fine balance of swung-out crescendos and post rock signatures that work a treat. Strong debut - Boomkat


"Interview/ EP stream"

Blending cues from Berlin’s technoscene with the post-rock soundscapes is Leeds band Ghosting Season. Formed from another DJing project, worriedaboutsatan, the duo’s pulsing, ambient dance is a slice of haunting ambient-tronica that sounds as post-apocalyptic as it does 4am club. We’d been following them through the blogosphere for the last few months, but when the EP dropped into our inbox last week, we knew we had to let you guys in. Below we chat to Tom & Gavin about their music, and we stream their new EP (out next week) exclusively. - Planet Notion


"EP stream"

We've been gradually gearing up for the release of the debut EP from worriedaboutsatan offshoot Ghosting Season and the good thing is that we don't have to wait any longer to hear it. It's here. So hear it, here, y'hear? It's released on their own This Is It Forever imprint next week but you can stream it in its entirety below, now. - Drowned in Sound


"Track stream"

The UK-based production duo of Gavin Miller and Thomas Ragsdale might be best known as Worriedaboutsatan, but the pair have since created Ghosting Season, a new musical outlet focused on the fusion of classical instrumentation, cinematic post-rock sounds, and UK bass music. Like on "Exercise Us," taken from the duo's forthcoming Far End of the Graveyard EP, Miller and Ragsdale lay the groundwork of their tunes with haunting string sections—often sounding like they were ripped straight from an understated indie thriller—before heaping flitty percussive sounds, throbbing basslines, dense aural atmospheres, and other ghostly sound effects over the moody tones. It conjures something akin to what Demdike Stare might sound like if they weren't glued to their dollar-bin discoveries. You can hear more of Ghosting Season's EP when the outfit releases it themselves later this month. - XLR8R


Discography

The Very Last of the Saints - May 2012
A Muffled Sound of Voices - April 2012
Far End of the Graveyard Remixes - October 2011
Far End of the Graveyard - June 2011

Photos

Bio

A fascination with taxidermy, a love of Krautrock, and interests ranging from vintage synths to gothic Victoriana - Ghosting Season embody the eccentric and the ethereal.

Stepping off the path laid by the great British leftfield tradition (Eno, Aphex, Seefeel, Global Communication, Burial, Lone et al), Ghosting Season fuse elements of ambient techno, musique concrete, IDM and post-rock into the kind of textured soundscapes that have won them much critical acclaim via a handful of releases, remixes (Radiohead, Cloud Control) and their formidable live show (Fields, SXSW and beyond).

Ghosting Season’s sound first emerged as tangents from Gavin and Tom’s previous band project, worriedaboutsatan. While the latter took its cues from the likes of Explosions In The Sky and Mogwai, the pair’s music began to head off into a different direction, one that was informed far more by electronic music, but still incorporated their love of guitars, vocals and found sounds. This new identity bore its first fruit with 2011’s ‘Far End Of The Graveyard EP’.

‘The Very Last Of The Saints’ is a breathtaking debut, moving from beautifully crafted cerebal electronica to tripped out house, glitchy drone collages and more strobe-friendly peaktime techno.

‘The Very Last Of The Saints’ is the first album release on Sasha’s Last Night On Earth label. The single ‘A Muffled Sound Of Voices’ is released 23 April, with remixes from Luke Abbott, Ed Davenport, Jack Dixon, Jamie Funk and Bubba. illustrator, David Lupton (/www.david-lupton.com), has created the artwork for both releases.