Phono Ghosts, Sferro – Alive In The Timeless Void

4 out of 5

Label: Fonolith

Produced by: Phono Ghosts, Sferro

If you’re familiar with Phono Ghosts’ warped and contemplative trips through nostalgia beats and video game bleeps, and Sferro’s obsessions with vintage sounds, then this meeting of minds will sound… exactly as you’d expect.  But having our expectations met, in this case, is by no means a bad thing, as the artist combination here produces a soundtrack to an 80s CGI demo that never was, with all the rough edges and innocent sense of wonder that description implies.  While the tempo doesn’t really pick up beyond a cool coast – which I see as Sferro’s purview, as PG normally dips in and out of IDM – these are thick and warm electro washes, full of crackly synth and pleasant beats, the dreamscape peaking with the B side’s Mystic Lagoon – a jovial toe-tapper – that’s actually only bested by its remix by Odd Nostrom, closing out the tape.

Fans of either artist will dig this, though it does lean more into Sferro’s laid-back haze than Ghosts’ mysteries, so followers of the latter – me – will likely circle back to this last out of their other Phono stuff.  (But that don’t mean it ain’t enjoyable and precisely composed as all heck.)

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