I dragged about seven of my friends to see Ghoul at Spectrum in 2009, when they were still playing tunes off of A Mouthful of Gold. None of my friends had heard them before, but by the end of their set all were converted. Plus that same night two of my pals would go from being just friends to a couple (1 ½ years and counting), so Ghoul’s music may even possess aphrodisiac effects.*
Dunks is an astonishing follow up to their EP, it is a record that the repeat button on cd players was made for. The sonic density of Dreambeat appears so simply constructed, but delve deeper and there are intricate layers of sound built atop one another to form the tense but haunting beats. 3 Mark remains one of my favourite songs in its sparse dub inflections; the pulsing percussive beat married to claps and the odd synth groan. From the synth hops and skips in Milkily to the hypnotic sparseness of Good Loops, the myriad of sounds are elaborately complex, interweaving in ways one cannot express.
The real drawcard, and it’s been mentioned countless times by anyone who has heard Ghoul even in passing, is the otherwordly vocals of singer Ivan Vizintin. Like a crooner without the cheesy suit, packing a falsetto that would leave Thom Yorke crying on the floor and range that seems to perfectly depict every emotion in each lyric uttered, Vizintin’s voice is on par with the very best for sheer charisma. As one of my friends put at their Double Dragon III performance not too long ago; “That’s not what I expected from the guy wearing an Adidas tee.” And I think that’s where the magic in the unassuming appearance of Ghoul lies.
*No further research has been conducted into this, but I’ll be Richard Mercer if someone wants to dedicate a Ghoul song to that special someone.