September 8, 2006

Phantom/Ghost - Relax It’s Only a Ghost Versions

“Is this some kind of German joke?” So asked my significant other upon hearing the lyrics of the original from the next room. “Relax,” I said, “it’s only Phantom/Ghost.” Indeed, the lyrical content of Dirk Von Lowtzow and Thies Mynther is that strange mix of an incredibly earnest theme (love beyond death) delivered in casual, breezy English. Those who remember the climax of Michael Mayer’s masterful “Immer” mix will know the score. The effect here is something like “Frankie goes to the tundra,” sees a ghost, likes it, and takes it to bed. Here’s a lyrical sample: “Try to let it stay / Make it warm and say / Ectoplasmatic friends / Are well behaved.” Hmm. For those of you who can “relax” and enjoy the oddball vocal, this EP’s got a lot to offer, including remixes by the rising darkstars of Dial: Efdemin (here with Carsten Jost) and Pantha du Prince. Pantha’s mix is very much in the vein of his wonderful “Lichten/Walden” EP, but without quite the emotive force. The Efdemin/Jost version sounds much more Leaving the Frantic-era Sten, and is a nice mid-tempo tech-house track. Neither this nor the Pantha really manage to deal with the vocal properly though, and both might be better without it. The surprise winner here is the Raboisen mix, which sounds somewhere between Fennesz-esque digital fuzz (but tamed and taught to sing in 4/4) and Pantha’s older material. In fact, although it’s not directly credited, the vocal credits suggest this is a Pantha du Prince mix. It’s great.

Ladomat / LADO 17187-0
[Peter Chambers]