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GHOST RHYTHMS

Jazz Rock/Fusion • France


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Ghost Rhythms biography
Founded in Paris, France in 2005

GHOST RHYTMS is a French jazz rock band from Paris founded in 2005. The main core of the group consists of ten members who are joined often by even more wind instruments, accordions, percussion and similar which accompany the rock instruments. The resulting mix of talents create chamber-like music which can be sometimes characterized both as fusion or avantgarde, and as such has some similarities to the zeuhl genre. They release their albums on the LEM record label, the most recent one up to date is a double concept album dedicated to character Madeleine from Alfred HITCHOCK's film 'Vertigo'.

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GHOST RHYTHMS discography


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GHOST RHYTHMS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.20 | 10 ratings
Ghost Rhythms
2007
4.47 | 15 ratings
Sept Cercles
2012
4.16 | 18 ratings
Madeleine
2015
4.06 | 15 ratings
Imaginary Mountains
2020
4.04 | 17 ratings
Spectral Music
2021

GHOST RHYTHMS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.19 | 12 ratings
Live at Yoshiwara
2019

GHOST RHYTHMS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GHOST RHYTHMS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GHOST RHYTHMS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.20 | 5 ratings
Mind the Gap
2015

GHOST RHYTHMS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Spectral Music by GHOST RHYTHMS album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.04 | 17 ratings

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Spectral Music
Ghost Rhythms Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Here we have the sixth studio album by French collective Ghost Rhythms, and the third of theirs which I have reviewed. It is their second release for Cuneiform, following on from the excellent 'Live at Yoshiwara', and the third studio release since 2015's 'Madeleine'. Band leaders, drummer Xavier Gélard and pianist Camille Petit have again taken control of much of the writing, although there are also contributions by other members. Due to lockdowns, they found themselves in a similar position to 2020 'Imaginary Mountains' with everyone recording their parts at home, with the exception of the drums, piano and Wurlitzer tracks which were laid down in a proper studio. Given that the collective were used to rehearsing in person weekly, this was quite a change to their normal way of doing things, but the 11 musicians (and three guests) pull it together so that it never sounds as if it is anything but people playing together.

There is clear direction with each of the songs, yet also plenty of room for individuality for the soloists, and although it can be quite avant-garde at times there is also the understanding that this has a framework which everyone understands. I did find myself being reminded of the great Art Zoyd at times, more than I have on the other releases I have heard, but that is a massively positive direction in my mind. One is never sure where the music is going to take us, and there is always plenty of space within the arrangements as they play with big band sounds at times, while reducing the structure to be minimalistic at others. As always with releases by Ghost Rhythms, it is always better to let the music flow multiple times as the more this is played the more the listener will get from it. For those who enjoy their fusion to be mixed with both experimental and Canterbury stylings.

 Spectral Music by GHOST RHYTHMS album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.04 | 17 ratings

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Spectral Music
Ghost Rhythms Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kurtrongey

4 stars A tick-tocking polyrhythmic smorgasbord, where the pocket is always the ultimate destination. Cool, intelligent and self-assured, they have a clearly etched aesthetic they don't wander from, so the material does threaten to get same-y. But there's no room to complain when the baseline of the material is so high. Expect Wurlitzer ostinatos with ghostly vocals. Fantastic, morphing drum grooves, big bass lines, cool wind instruments, expressive harmony changes, world music touches and a never-ending succession of dizzying odd-time polyrhythms. If you smashed up National Health and Art Zoyd, it might give you an idea. It's hard to pick favorite tracks because this album is consistently awesome beginning to end.
 Imaginary Mountains by GHOST RHYTHMS album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.06 | 15 ratings

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Imaginary Mountains
Ghost Rhythms Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars A few years ago, I reviewed the last album by Ghost Rhythms, 'Live At Yoshiwara', where I said "for those who enjoy their music to be experimental yet still with control and patience then this is certainly worthy of investigation." To be honest, I could have copied those words and said that was the review this time around as we have the same here. However, unlike their other releases, this was written in lockdown. Given that here was a band who had only previously recorded in studios, and were used to having weekly rehearsals, this was a major shift for them (as it was for many other musicians during this period).

Given that they had no way of recording drums, the decision was made by band leaders Camille Petit (keyboards) and Xavier Gélard (EBow, drums) to concentrate on the more orchestral aspects of the band. Drums were eventually added later, and the resulting album is something which is experimental, containing large elements of fusion, combined with chamber music and orchestral which creates something which at times is melodic and familiar yet at others is pushing boundaries and defining modern music in a quite different format. The piano is often the key underlying melodic provider, at others the lead, but that could also be taken by the flute, guitar, or any of the other instruments they have available in the 11-piece band. There are times when it is soothing and quite dreamlike, others when it is brash and harsh, using dissonance as a weapon. When the music is simple and delicate, the listener knows not to be lulled into a false sense of security as soon the band will come back at full force.

Ghost Rhythms are an intensely interesting, fascinating and exciting outfit who continue to move the musical form into different directions, and is all the better for it.

 Live at Yoshiwara by GHOST RHYTHMS album cover Live, 2019
4.19 | 12 ratings

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Live at Yoshiwara
Ghost Rhythms Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars A large ensemble of varying size, Ghost Rhythms is led by composers, drummer Xavier Gélard and pianist Camille Petit, and at this event the band had become a ten-piece as they were joined by Guillaume Aventurin (guitar) , Alexis Collin (accordion, sound manipulation) , Gregory Kosovski (bass), Morgan Lowenstein (percussion) , Nadia Mejri- Chapelle (cello) , Tom Namias (electric guitar) , David Rousselet (tenor sax) and Maxime Thiébaut (alto, soprano and baritone sax). Whatever it may imply with the album title, this was recorded in the band's normal rehearsal space, in Paris on December 14th, 2019. Both Gélard and Petit have long had an interest in science fiction and alternate realities, particularly with author Philip K. Dick (I still love "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" although others may point to "Minority Report" or "Blade Runner"), so the album is presented as a fictional concert supposedly compiled from performances in various unlikely, non-existent or long-gone venues or locations over different timeframes from 1834 to 2123, with the most notable being Yoshiwara, the club in Fritz Lang's 1927 film 'Metropolis'.

Gélard and Petit both come from a rock and progressive rock background, but wanted to perform in an area which was more solidly set in jazz and fusion, so of course brought in classically trained and jazz musicians, with the understanding that they would be the sole composers. For this release they relaxed the rules, and anyone could bring in anything they wanted, and the result is an avant-garde progressive classical jazz album which appears to have no rules whatsoever. Musically this is all over the place, but there is a rigour within it which allows the musicians to twist ideas together. Of course, with ten musicians in a band it is also possible for people to have a major impact by not playing at all and letting the rest get on with it. There is a real feeling of collective here, that there is no one person attempting to be dominant. That they rehearse together weekly is quite an achievement, something not many non- fulltime bands can commit to, let alone with this many people involved.

Complex, complicated, atonal, melodic, structured yet free, this is quite an album. I do smile at the end of each song when the obviously canned and over the top applause is added but it is so deliberately put there it is up to the listener to get the joke. For those who enjoy their music to be experimental yet still with control and patience then this is certainly worthy of investigation.

 Madeleine by GHOST RHYTHMS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.16 | 18 ratings

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Madeleine
Ghost Rhythms Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars GHOST RHYTHMS are a young band out of France and with this over 2 hour double album they have created something unique. Their idea was to make an alternate soundtrack to the movie "Vertigo" an Alfred Hitchcock classic. In doing so they created the music first then they made the tunes fit the scenes of the movie. They got the idea to do this from the common notion that PINK FLOYD's "Dark Side Of The Moon" works as an alternate soundtrack to "The Wizard Of Oz". GHOST RHYTHMS is a large band consisting of 16 people with lots of horns and strings and the only vocals are female vocal melodies on a couple of tracks. The drummer and keyboardist created and arranged all the music here and both the drums and especially the piano are very prominent in this recording. The music really comes across as being in the Chamber style to my ears more so than Jazz although we certainly get both. Oh, the album's title is taken from a character in the movie "Vertigo".

Disc one opens with "Another Bridge" which got me off on the wrong foot as I'm not really into this although I like the way it builds. "I Did Not" opens with piano only but it turns full before 1 1/2 minutes. This is somewhat dark and experimental and I like it a lot. "Tree Ashes" is led by drums and piano early on including accordion then the tempo picks up before 2 1/2 minutes and a horn starts playing over top. "Carlotta Valders" sounds great to start but I'm not into the sound when it picks up before 2 minutes but that only lasts about a minute. I like how pleasant it is after 5 1/2 minutes although I wouldn't call the horn playing over top in that way. A calm after 9 minutes but it's urgent and building. "Apparition #2" is melancholic and dark and oh so good. "Falaise" features beautiful piano melodies as the accordion joins in.

"Free Fall" has this fast paced piano as other sounds come and go. Love this stuff. "Apparition #1" is dark and eerie with piano. This is sparse with plenty of atmosphere. Cello after 2 1/2 minutes then it brightens 4 1/2 minutes in. "Phalenes" is a short piece with piano and horns leading the way. "L'alphee" has some excellent drums and bass in it as the piano and accordion help out. "Apparition #3" ends the first disc and it's dark with percussion and atmosphere before the piano and accordion join in. It does brighten but then back to the piano and drums 6 minutes in. It's brighter a minute later as themes are repeated.

"Aleph" opens with sparse piano and atmosphere until it kicks in at 1 1/2 minutes. So good! Check out the drumming after 6 minutes and the rare guitar a minute later. More guitar 10 minutes in including some clapping. "Relief" is led by piano but we get accordion and more helping out. I like the atmosphere 3 1/2 minutes in. "Ravin" has a fairly urgent rhythm section on it while "I Did" ends up having this relaxed jazzy sound before 2 minutes which is really enjoyable. Lots of horns in "Mary Rose" while "Apparition #2" has these pulsating sounds and more and then it kicks into gear before 1 1/2 minutes. Love this!

"A Bridge" has piano to start then it turns fuller before 1 1/2 minutes. Nice flute before 6 minutes and we get some female vocal melodies to follow. "Vie D'emilie Sagee" opens with bass as piano and horns eventually join in. Great sound 4 minutes in and we get female vocal melodies as well. Amazing track. "Pour Toi" is relaxed but there's so much going on. "La Circulaire" opens with what sounds like Kettle drums as piano joins in. A horn after 2 minutes. Insanity 5 1/2 minutes in. A great way to end it all.

I haven't listened to this with the movie but on it's own it a solid 4 star recording. Yeah it's too long for my tastes but blame the length of this on the movie(haha).

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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