Dykehouse: Nostalgia Radar EP
Ghostly Digital

VA: Prox EP
Ghostly Digital

The fourth release in Ghostly's digital series, Michael Dykehouse's 20-minute Nostalgia Radar EP picks up where the shoegaze howl of 2004's Midrange left off. Anthemic cuts like “Hope She Hears This Sound” and the title song distinctively juxtapose the fuzzy roar of cheap guitars with the breathy hum of his soft vocals, the songs' soaring pop melodies the coup de grace. “Sunset Rose” explodes with a raucous beehive wail before Dykehouse chills the pace with two covers, a superb version of Dinosaur Jr's “Take A Run At The Sun,” that gets ample mileage out of the song's potent hooks, and a lovely treatment of The Smith's “I Won't Share You” that won't supplant the original but is still a more than credible homage.

Wholly different in character from the Dykehouse set, Prox EP, a half-hour sampler of electronic experimentalism, finds Ghostly migrating into territory normally associated with labels like the now-defunct Neo Ouija and soon-to-be-retired Merck. Detroit Underground's Kero drapes swizzlestick synths over a grinding lope in “Aftarileyshit” while Spenza's “Dia” crackles with classic IDM throb. Miami-based Merck's well-represented by Lackluster and Tim Koch, with the former's “Easy Does It” a churchified exercise in billowing euphoria and the latter's “Ik Zak Fout” a dreamy slice of vocal-laced elegance that may remind some listeners of Helios. Only edIT's “4 AM In 4 Parts” disappoints by embracing a headache-inducing, seizure-gripped convulsiveness that wears out its welcome quickly. Despite the lapse, the two EPs remain solid additions to Ghostly's eclectic digital series.

July 2006