TITLE / format : "Ghost Stories" / CD
LABEL: Soleilmoon Recordings
REVIEWER: Rev. Paul Mathers
Let us travel back some twenty years. Back to when Tom Waits was singing the blues, Skinny Puppy and Einsturzende Neubauten weren't even gleams in industrial eyes, Oingo Boingo was a high school drama troupe, and many members of Instagon weren't even born. Out of San Francisco came a bald experimental noise artist called Z'ev. His real name is Stefan Weisser. Before groups were recording themselves banging things together, he was recording himself banging things together. For over twenty years, he has been putting out breath-takingly original and mind numbingly relentless albums.
Naturally, with such a long career in the experimental side of music, many of his albums are darn near impossible to find. A Z'ev album that is relatively easy to find is "Ghost Stories". It is a reissue by Soleilmoon records of an out of print album. They have done this with several Z'ev albums to make them easy to find and easy on the pocketbook. Bless them. It was recorded in Amsterdam on Halloween of 1990. It is sixty-eight minutes of Z'ev banging together what sounds like lead pipes. You never hear a peep from the audience, but I'm assured that it was recorded from a concert. I don't blame those ticket holders. It's difficult to explain the power of "Ghost Stories". It's really hard to convey the beauty of how Z'ev bangs pipes to one who hasn't heard it.
I would highly recommend this album to every creature that walks the Earth. The first time I threw it on was in the wee hours of the morning as I did some writing. I had it on really low. Every once and a while, I would stop working, lean back with the calming throbs of clattering metal and say, "Wow!" It was ambient music at it's highest quality. The next, and more satisfying time I listened to it was mid-day, a few days later. I cranked up the stereo so that the walls hummed along and laid on the floor with my eyes closed for over an hour. The effect was transcendental. It transported me to a calm and ethereal plane. "Ghost Stories" can be found in lots of music stores. Log off and go buy it right now.