Ghost review by Sub Level 203

by Laura B.
Idiot Stare, established in 1994, has seen a growing popularity over the years. Sony Pictures and MTV have used the music of Idiot Stare in “Spiderman: The Animated Series”. The track “Ghost”, which was used in episode seven, is presented here as a single that includes 12 other remixes with the oddball “World Destruction” and two video tracks for “Ghost”.

The video tracks are identical, but offer a Quicktime version that is of standard quality, where the WMV offers Surround Sound. Featuring a low-rate hotel room and the nude Donna Ricci as a junkie begging the question “Who am I?” With her roaming the room in smeared makeup, the video cuts between her glassy eyed glaze and the band playing for an infrared lense.

“Ghost (Original)” is by far the best of all versions on the single, featuring a desirable balance between industrial rock and danceable electronic. The song has a march-like quality and carries forward with a nice momentum while the lyrics are so infectious the song becomes unforgettable.

Christ Analog offers “Ghost (Bufferfuck)”, where the guitars are stripped away. Vocals are left pretty much intact, but portions of the chorus are presented with heavy synthetic effects. As the track moves toward its end, it gains a decent energy, but I feel it doesn’t have the same power of the Original.

Many of those that follow seem to keep along the same lines, varying the electronics to some degree or another while altering vocals or stripping them down to a bare minimum. Ranging from trance tracks to noisy industrial, the single tries to present a bit of something to appeal to a variety of club-goers and DJs.

While some of these might be fun for a DJ to tinker with, I find the one that really stands out as the best of the remixes to be “REwire”. The guitars are deepened, carrying an ominous presence. The electronics come across more seriously as well, giving the song a much darker feel overall. By others stripping away elements such as lyrics, guitar or electronics, I feel the piece loses its intended effect and infectious quality.

Time Zone’s “World Destruction” was a collaboration between John Lyndon (better known as Johnny Rotten) and Afrika Bambaataa released in 1984. The original presented lyrics that are still fitting nearly 20 years later, one of the hokiest synth lines ever and an air of fun about it. Idiot Stare takes this track and moves it into raw, more aggressive territory. While certain aspects, like pacing, remain, there is a seriousness about this piece absent from Time Zone’s version. I’m preferential to the original, but the suitability of the track to events happening today make it a good track to cover.

I’d definitely be interested in hearing more from these guys in the future. “Ghost” is an energetic track with an eerie pop quality because it’s so memorable. The disc attempts to provide a series of mixes that will appeal to a variety of audiences. Overall, people should be pretty pleased, especially those who are fans of high energy, dancefloor friendly tracks with steadfast guitar.

Courtesy Sub Level 203

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