Feb 2021 04

Album CoverCODE
Album: Ghost Ship
Category: Electro / Synthpop / Ambient
Label: Lo-Tek Audio
Release Date: 2020-11-06


After the release of The Architect by CODE in 1995 on Third Mind Records, the label folded, and the album consequently never received much attention outside of a few circles in the know. 25 years later, the Kent-based quartet has resurrected the recordings intended for the follow-up, with the appropriately titled Ghost Ship presenting a sort of time capsule into the sounds of ‘90s electronica. Right from the onset of “Origin” with its samples from 2001: A Space Odyssey and robotic dialogue in lieu of vocals, the ambient spaces giving way to lushly sophisticated arrangements of Euro-beat techno, the album sounds like a signal out of time, when groups like Leftfield, Underworld, and Orbital reigned supreme in the blending of pop accessible melodies with varying styles of dance-oriented electronic music. There are the jazzy trip-hop rhythms and grimy synth leads of “Listen to Me,” the gyrating synthpop leanings of “The Building” and “Midnight,” both presenting nicely layered vocals and fluid keyboard progressions that are as cosmically appealing as they are groovy, and the funky spaciousness of “Bourbon Street” as the moody horns give the song a futuristic noir vibe offset by scratching guitars, swirling psychedelic textures, and a soprano vocal that lands the song firmly in The Fifth Element territory. Some might even detect traces of early ‘80s Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode in the album’s more vocally driven moments, but that’s par for the course for the genre, while other moments could have easily served as a video game soundtrack as the tonal palette is distinctly of its time. Ultimately, Ghost Ship is something of a nostalgic curiosity; one must wonder what sort of impact the record might have had in its original form and intent, as well as where CODE might end up taking its sound now should the band wish to reinitiate in the modern era.
Track list:

  1. Origin
  2. Bourbon Street
  3. Love Perfection
  4. Breathe Slow
  5. Listen to Me
  6. Hall of Mirrors
  7. The Building
  8. Midnight
  9. Light Years 2020
  10. Marin Headlands

Website, SoundCloud, Bandcamp
Lo-Tek Audio
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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