Team Ghost - You Never Did Anything Wrong To Me

This is a band that’s not afraid to experiment with different textures within their basic sound

(Sonic Cathedral 7 Trk 10 inch vinyl / download)

As a teenage fan of music not generally associated with late-80s teenage girls, J J Burnel's Euroman Cometh was my holy grail: a near-mythical album I - some years after its release and some years before The Internet - seemed destined never to hear; scouring the weeklies’ small ads and jumping at any chance to visit a new town in case its second hand record shops concealed my prize. There was a reason for its rarity - a record completely out of time, it flopped disastrously and the few Stranglers fans who'd bought the bassist's unexpected foray into his French roots, early electronica and 70s motorik weren't parting with it. Now something of a cult classic, it’s still a surprise to see it name-checked in a contemporary band’s mail shot – or it would be, except that said mail shot comes from Sonic Cathedral, a label renowned for its appreciation of jewels past (a forthcoming release sees a bunch of the label’s contemporary associates tackle a selection of Roky Erickson covers) and ability to seek out the best in present-day fuzzy-edged music in all its forms. Especially if it’s French. In this case it’s Nicholas Fromageau, early escapee from M83 a few albums ago, and his new project Team Ghost.

Those Euroman influences come to the forefront a few tracks in: Only You Can Break My Heart and Colors In Time taking the trans-European post-punk blueprint and steeping it in a dreamy haze. By which time you’ll have been gently transported into Team Ghost’s world by the rather lovely ambient-ish intro piece that is Lonely, Lonely, Lonely before A Glorious Time goes full-on Slowdivey shoegaze, gloriously uplifting and poignantly sad in equal measure. Meanwhile Sur Nous Les Étincelles Du Soleil (loosely translated, I think, as “the sparks of the sun are upon us” – a classic dreampop title if ever there was one!) sees ethereal French whispers over a rippling electronic tapestry reminiscent of Fuck Buttons' early channeling of Tangerine Dream. This is a band that’s not afraid to experiment with different textures within their basic sound, yet as a whole this EP flows beautifully – a little half hour’s escape from the chaos of the world. M83’s loss is very much our gain.