Ghost – Hypnotic Underworld

27 Mar

I sat at my desk on the 14th floor, typing my masterpiece. Water crawled to my feet and slowly began to accumulate. It’s presence helped coax my thoughts into flowing through my fingers. It rose by the minute, up to my knees by the time I approached completion. I would not give up. At the last moment I hit the period key for the final time and sent the piece onto the internet for all to see. The water then ripped me from my seat and dragged me out to the ocean, where I floated in a sea of calm insignificance.

My regards to all of those affected by the tsunami and the related disasters in Japan. May your nation come out of this stronger than before, and your dead rest peacefully.


So as promised here is the second post of the weekend.

In light of the recent happenings in the east, I’ve decided to honor a tremendous Japanese band. Ghost is the name of an absolutely amazing psychedelic acid folk rock experience which was created sometime during the late 1980’s. Their first album came out in 1990, and they have been making great music ever since. In 2004 they released the album entitled Hypnotic Underworld, which is what really put them on the map, especially in the western world.

They have also been described as living a nomadic existence, only playing shows in ruins of ancient temples or
abandoned subway stations. I would do a countless amount of things to be able to attend such an event. Japanese hippies are hands down one of the most intriguing combination of people I can imagine.

The album is half concept album and half chill jam album. The first four songs on the album are entitled Hypnotic Underworld parts 1-4 respectively, and are about the listener’s escape from this Hypnotic Underworld. Basically it is that spacey psychedelic concept vibe you have learned to love, but with an added eastern folk influence. The result is brilliant, giving it almost jazz like qualities.

Part 1, is a sort of introduction to the Hypnotic Underworld. A scratchy horn plays this dreary nonsense, while random instruments clamor in syncopated madness. It builds and builds until it finally gives to part 2, which opens up with an amazing bass line. The horn finds it’s tune finally and a piano complements the both. This jam lasts for quite the while, instruments coming and going, sort of as if one would be just hanging out in a hypnotic underworld I assume.

Parts 3 and 4 are in the youtube video above. Part 3 represents the realization of one’s surrounding and the eventuating escape from the hypnotic underworld. It is a very powerful rock song featuring synths, guitars, drums, and amazing Japanese lyrics. The full works. And then part 4 comes along which is a short, almost heavy-metal, drum solo. The final escape I suppose. Really cool in my opinion.

After this 4 part concept work, the rest of the album is individual songs, and I am not too sure where the concept actually ends because sadly I cannot understand Japanese. But I can assume that the next song continues the story in some sense simply based on the title. You escape the hypnotic underworld to hang out in the hazy paradise!

It is actually a cover of a song by the same name which is by a band named Earth and Fire. It is melodic and beautiful. It begins with guitar fills punctuating an almost heavenly sound which is created by that beautiful riff and the vocal “ooh-aah”‘s. With a short climbing of a scale and the strum of an acoustic guitar, the song moves on to the main verse. The singing is movie-like and the harpsichord reminds me of the 60’s scene ever so slightly. A Japanese psychedelic ballad. Guitar solos spring up ever so often, eventually matched by the harpsichords, creating a build that is simply glory to the ears.

These first 5 tracks already create an astounding musical experience, meanwhile 6 tracks still remain on the album. I will allow you to explore them on your own. And maybe someone out there who speaks Japanese can translate some of the lyrics and tell me if it really is a concept album.



P.S. Aww hell here is one more song from the album, because it’s that good. I present to you 10 minutes of chill, entitled Ganagmanag!


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