- Album Review: Radio Europa - To Repel Ghosts
If this is the future of Welsh experimental music then we should all change our nationality.
Just six months since their impressive second album ‘TyDbXx’ and 12 months in the making, ‘Radio Europa’ return with an absolute cracker in the form of ‘To Repel Ghosts’. A cautionary tale on the state of the world from addiction to mental health, their third album is nothing short of visionary as it strips back all preconceptions and battles on regardless.
‘To Repel Ghosts’ is a subtle, stripped back affair which allows sound and voice to shine through. Often sounding like it has been recorded in a huge, echoing, empty warehouse it draws from the likes of ‘Coil’ and ‘Throbbing Gristle’ in 11 tracks which last little over 22 minutes but remains compulsive and essential listening. From the monotone finger-clicking of intro ‘The Curse Descends’ with its manic laughter, the tone is set for something very special indeed.
‘Babbling Tongues’ is hypnotic in the extreme, a wonderful resonating instrumental and the longest track on the album, looping along with occasional reverb additions and dulcet electro tones and at times simulating a choir of deep voices buried beneath the surface.
The finger-clicking returns for ‘Post Update’ and poetic genius ensues. Simon Tucker brandishes a full-on social media attack with some particularly cutting lyrics which steal the album – “if you’ve ever wondered who these cretins are then look in the mirror after your next misery wank” – absolutely wonderful.
Recorded in Steve Leigh’s home studio, the effect undoubtedly impressive, sounds are crisp and clinical and the experimental aspect cannot go unnoticed. This is potentially ground-breaking stuff, perfect for the soundtrack to a horror film and enough suspense to keep you on edge for at least one listening session.
‘Chasing Ghosts’ contains the background sound of a crowded bar together with intermittent piano playing and, ‘Scattered Transmissions From The Fuzz Sewer’ holds moments of regret from the soul fighting to hold off the fall into depressive oblivion. This album holds huge rafts of stunning imagination and quite brilliant execution. If this is the future of Welsh experimental music then we should all change our nationality.