Happy Halloween! Today’s EPs offer different aural images of the occasion, one set haunted and the other one benign. Whether trick-or-treating, entertaining, partying, dressing up or any combination of the above, we hope you’ll enjoy this unofficial holiday pairing!
Drekka‘s Ghost House is the latest entry in Silber Music’s 5in5 series, each one presenting 5 songs in 5 minutes. In this case, we’d love to hear a full album. The theme is simple: field recordings in a haunted house. Drekka (Michael Anderson) calls the project “EVP monitoring”, and the frequent theremin-like warbles seem to indicate a ghostly presence or two. These rooms are cavernous, inhabited by deep echoes and clutches of static. When a purposeful rush of white noise emerges from the chaos, the room grows chilled. And then distant bells, fumbling with the machine, and an ending straight out of the original Blair Witch Project: sound swallowing silence, then spewing it back into the ether. The EP is absolutely perfect. Play it before you go out, and you might want to stay in.
On the other side of the aural spectrum (or should we say spectre?), we find Seamus O’Muineachain‘s Blood Apple, a reminder that Halloween is often more candy than fright. The cover is an old family photo (the artist middle left), and the acoustic music is cozy and warm. Is this Halloween? we inquire. It doesn’t sound like Halloween. But then we remember that we were all children once. We dressed up in fun costumes: Spider-Man and Casper, princesses and warriors, and we went out into the night holding a parent’s hand, bouncing merrily with our siblings through the leaves, accepting candy from friendly neighbors. If Ghost House is the Halloween trick, Blood Apple is the treat. The guitar, piano and occasional electronic beats throw a warm layer over the night like a jacket over a thin costume. “Ash” is as relaxing as a hearth fire; “Snow” offers a reminder of pleasures to come; and the closing “Ummoon” is like the joy of coming home with a full bag and being told, “Yes, you may eat another candy, because it’s Halloween.” (Richard Allen)