If there’s one role that truly appeals in the music to me, it’s not the wailing frontman or the guitarist with a haircut – it’s that of the enigmatic, lonely producer, making hits with a high-tech sonic laboratory in a mountain retreat and pushing the boundaries of sound. Of course, most of the time this simply isn’t the case – the retreat is often just a bedroom in some council house and the laboratory is usually substituted for an old Apple iMac or similar, but still, it’s nice to dream. Coming from the musical equivalent of outer-space, Vlad Shusterman could easily be one of these misunderstood geniuses and whilst probably just as dangerous as an estate, his home of Jerusalem is endlessly more exotic.
Still, after working at various other outfits, Vlad has taken the name ‘Ghost Bike’ to produce one of 2010’s great unheard albums. His own labelling of it as his ‘dubstep project’ feels like an awfully loose fit – whilst there are definitely aspect of the scene in his violently industrial music, that’s not the end of it. The warped sounds and glitches that have marked the likes of Skream and Burial as hot properties are certainly present, but there’s also a lot of drone and even shoegaze influences dotted around. Maybe it’s simply taken someone from outside the usual channels to take stock, but throughout the 12 tracks of ‘You Don’t Exist’ Vlad proves himself to be astute and completely on the pulse of what’s exciting at the minute.
The album is currently available for streaming on Bandcamp, but should be available as a free download come May 16th. The belief that runs throughout is obvious as the cold, blustery noise lets itself build to a series of small crescendos, little metallic waves crashing upon a barren shore. As a soundscape, it’s bleak to the point of desolation at times, but as the future of music it’s utterly exhilarating.
Ghost Bike – Memory Drain
Ghost Bike – Strays