Tag: Anti-Ghost Moon Ray (Page 2 of 4)


ROSEMARY LOVES A BLACKBERRY is the multi-faceted Russian musician and artist Diana Burkot.

Part of the Anti-Ghost Moon Ray collective that brought the world GAZELLE TWIN, BERNHOLZ and ANNEKA, Burkot’s debut album is entitled ‘❤’, because in Burkot’s own words, it is “an image that cannot be spoken, at a time when visual aesthetics are the priority”.

Like with OMD’s recent single ‘Isotype’, it is a sardonic commentary on how communication has now been reduced to emojis and likes, thanks to the soulless overreliance on social media.

As if to reinforce this concept, the previously unveiled ‘Purr’ is shaped by a gentle conceptual slice of leftfield while its accompanying video challenges “Self-identification through social networks” ?

ROSEMARY LOVES A BLACKBERRY first came to wider attention via the ‘Annual General Meeting Record – Volume 2’ cassette which featured her label mates as well as I SPEAK MACHINE and NEAR FUTURE, a side project of BLANCMANGE’s Neil Arthur.

That particular track ‘Play or Pay’ features on ‘❤’ and like an artier LADYTRON circa ‘604’, it’s a brilliantly screechy percussive set piece with eerie vocal stylings from Burkot that add mystery and intrigue. Meanwhile, the GRIMES-like ‘Plastic Soup’ continues with that mood.

‘❤’ actually starts with ‘Røst’, an enigmatic instrumental comprised of unsettling atmospheric layers, but this is not wholly representative of the rest of the album.

‘Drumly’ does what it says on the tin but with drum machine and kooky rolled vocals, while the explicitly titled intensity of ‘Spring’s Sh*t’ actually comes over as a joyous piece of reverberant electronic experimentation.

Beginning with a big bass drone, this artful intent is also omnipresent on ‘A Song for Theo’s Animals’; the buzzes and electric shrills over a noisy percussive collage are offset by Burkot’s soprano and a swimmy string machine. Not to be left out, the dramatic boom of ‘Debris’ sits well within its surroundings.

Although not for everyone, ‘❤’ is a promising debut from ROSEMARY LOVES A BLACKBERRY that captures today’s darkness while also projecting a witty angelic innocence.

Delightfully odd, short but sweet, this is a work of stranger things to savour.

‘ is released as a cassette and download by Anti-Ghost Moon Ray, available from https://antighostmoonray.bandcamp.com/album/-




Text by Chi Ming Lai
14th August 2017


With a manifesto that “explores common ground in a strong aesthetic approach towards art, film, music, technology, science, and nature”, the Brighton based artistic co-operative Anti-Ghost Moon Ray founded by GAZELLE TWIN, BERNHOLZ, ACQUAINTANCE and GREAT PAGANS have released a new compilation of music made by themselves and like-minded friends, entitled ‘Annual General Meeting Record – Volume 2’.

‘Volume 1’ was in aid of Médecins Sans Frontières, raising £535 and ‘Volume 2’ proceeds will go to Refugee Action (UK) who provide advice, support and guidance to refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.

The international cast contribute 14 tracks emcompassing dark electronica, lost soundtracks and field recording experiments. ITAL TEK’s ‘To Dust’ provides a deep synthy rumble as an introduction to proceedings while Russian artist ROSEMARY LOVES A BLACKBERRY offers ‘Play or Pay’, a slice of screechy Euro-rythmics that comes over like an artier LADYTRON circa ‘604’

TIMERON’s ‘Risers’ blips and swirls in an enjoyable experimental cocoon, but it’s I SPEAK MACHINE and ‘Blood From A Stone’ that is possibly the highlight of the collection, the mysterious workshop electronica recalling the eerie overtones of early GOLDFRAPP. The project of Tara Busch, the track is perhaps nearer to the song based solo work of her excellent ‘Rocket Wife’ EP than the other material on her soon-to-be-released soundtrack to ‘Zombies 1985’.

The wacky LONE TAXIDERMIST does her bit on the scary avant house of ‘Red Kiss’ with a mixture of weird noises and horror film vocal stylings coupled to a 4/4 beat. Much gentler, ‘These Lands’ by ANNEKA showcases the glorious vocal talents of the young songstress with a quality equal to a Morricone soundcsape in the vein of ‘Ecstacy Of Gold’.

Adding some supernatural spectres, Anti-Ghost Moon Ray’s best known artist GAZELLE TWIN contributes the ritualistic ‘Smash’ which recalls a more electronic RAIN TREE CROW, while FOG SCHOOL’s ‘You Were Born for Chilling Deeds’ with its ghostly voice pitch shifts is self-explantory.

The lengthy ‘We’ve Got to Have Some Music On The New Frontier’ from ACQUAINTANCE and the woodwind laden ‘Sweetness’ from GREAT PAGANS’ Alex Painter both explore more artier climes.

Following a similar path, ‘Divides At’ is a stark railroading instrumental from NEAR FUTURE, the duo comprising of BLANCMANGE’s Neil Arthur and BERNHOLZ; the latter also provides his own solo experiment ‘58’ which sits comfortably with the aural sculpture of LIGHGHT’s ‘Gutter’. Closing with soundtrack composer Nick Sutton and the uneasy ambience of ‘Prayer’, ‘Annual General Meeting Record – Volume 2’ is another inventive and well curated collection.

It showcases some varied interpretations of electronic music, providing an assorted degree of cerebral fulfilment while also supporting a highly worthy cause.

‘Annual General Meeting Record – Volume 2’ is released by Anti-Ghost Moon Ray as a digital download and limited edition cassette in aid of Refugee Action (UK), available exclusively from https://antighostmoonray.bandcamp.com/album/annual-general-meeting-record-vol-2




Text by Chi Ming Lai
9th June 2017

Introducing ANNEKA

From Anti-Ghost Moon Ray, the Brighton-based collective that brought you GAZELLE TWIN, comes another enticing songstress by the name of ANNEKA.

Having already opened for EAST INDIA YOUTH and guested for other artists including STARKEY, ITAL TEK and FALTY DL, Anneka Warburton’s avant pop has now come to full solo fruition with the release of her first EP ‘Life Force’.

The brooding title song begins sparsely with the breathy air of HANNAH PEEL before pulsing sequences and a cacophony of voices penetrate through to create a cavernous atmosphere.

Captivatingly cinematic, its imaginative narrative comes from the perspective of an android with a plea to “give me flesh, give me blood, it’s what I need”. As it progresses, ‘Life Force’ becomes more ritualistic, but with a subtle percussive fervour rather than tubthumping.

Meanwhile, the enigmatic video provides an appropriate cerebral visual accompaniment that compliments the mood in each of the song’s various mini-movements.

Of the other tracks, sampled voices dominate ‘Caramel’ like OMD at their most experimental, producing a synthetic sound sculpture that is delightfully odd but accessible. The eerily funereal ‘A Strange & Distant Town’ aurally documents the end of a destructive relationship in a collage of chorals.

A haunting soprano intros the EP closer appropriately titled ‘End Of It’. Taking a leaf out of the early work of GAZELLE TWIN, it is the apocalypse presented as a unsettling but dreamy soundscape, layered with raw vocals and assorted technological treatments.

Short but sweet, the ‘Life Force’ EP is a fine introduction to ANNEKA that possesses a ghostly escapism that creates time and space to think.

‘Life Force’ is released by Anti-Ghost Moon Ray, available as a download with a 10 page digital art booklet from https://annekamusic.bandcamp.com/album/life-force-ep







Text by Chi Ming Lai
1st May 2017

A Short Conversation with NEAR FUTURE

NEAR FUTURENeil Arthur and Jez Bernholz are NEAR FUTURE, a new project featuring the BLANCMANGE front man and the Brighton based musician, sculptor, film-maker and co-founder of the Anti Ghost Moon Ray art collective that also spawned GAZELLE TWIN.

With plans for a full-length album to be released in 2017, the first single is the delightfully sombre ‘Ideal Home’.

Beginning with futuristic ship klaxons, it’s a fractured number which takes a detached dual vocal and attaches it to a steadfast rhythmic backdrop, with hints of Eno-era TALKING HEADS in its ethnically influenced textures.

Meanwhile, the sub-three minute flip ‘Overwhelmed’ has shrill strings cocooned in an aural cavern with a claustrophobic Neil Arthur lead vocal that while recognisable, is quite different from anything by BLANCMANGE. Setting the scene as an introduction to the project, Jez Bernholz kindly chatted about the genesis of NEAR FUTURE.

You opened for BLANCMANGE at the Red Gallery shows in 2015, but what led you to making music together?

Neil and I had a really positive connection when we met in London for those shows. I’d already said how much I loved ‘Irene & Mavis’ which, if I’m honest, was my first real introduction to the band when reissued through Minimal Wave.

Neil had said some very encouraging things about the experimental aspects of my music. As a result, I was invited to join them on a full UK tour as support this year and it was suggested that we could exchange some loose ideas, work on each other’s tracks separately and see what the results were.

It was all initially just a loose but interesting way to promote the tour, but it was also a nice way of seeing how our individual approaches to music-making worked together, flex our compositional muscles in a way. It’s worked out better than we hoped and we’re introducing each other to a wide variety of things outside our own comfort zones I’d like to think.

‘Ideal Home’ has an experimental air of BRIAN ENO about it?

Experimental, certainly, but Eno for me wasn’t a conscious inspiration though I love his work and studio ideas. Vocally, it’s certainly possible that ‘Another Green World’ or ‘Before and After Science’, had some kind of subconscious influence, but then, only as much as his work with JON HASSELL or DAVID BYRNE.

In the back of my mind, the vocals are always inspired in some way by Bowie so there is the ‘Low’ connection there, but it wasn’t intentional and I don’t think I ever considered it a formative part of the music. However, Neil may see things differently of course. His initial idea and field recordings laid the groundwork for the austere, detached quality, but they were rooted in other electronic histories.

How does a younger generation artist such as yourself come to discover and be influenced the original innovators?

I’m a music-obsessive. I’ve had a staple collective of artists that I’ve loved since growing up and becoming a musician.

And if you’re a nerd like me, those artists tend to have a rhizomatic effect. KATE BUSH, PRINCE, DAVID BOWIE, KRAFTWERK, the usual suspects.

I’m drawn to the certain kind of electronic sounds pioneered from the 60s, wobbling, bending and very detached, almost lonely sounds that the post-punk and New Pop artists all seem to use, culminating in some kind of golden age of experimental pop. It seemed to dispel of certain hierarchies which exists a lot in certain places now, where often you find either a kind of classist or an inverted snobbery; I like music which bridges those gaps between experimentalism and populism.

I’ve worked with some very inspiring people in other bands over the years who’ve drawn me into unusual music by ‘innovators’, those who may not be household names but are important artists. I also found that really good music journalism, those who wrote profoundly about the effect music had on them, would draw my attention to artists that someone who grew up with Britpop as their soundtrack might have otherwise neglected; ‘This is Uncool’ by Garry Mulholland, ‘Rip It Up and Start Again’ by Simon Reynolds.

NEAR FUTURE-artwork‘Overwhelmed’ sees Neil taking the lead vocal. How do you produce a work that has his distinctive style without it necessarily coming over like BLANCMANGE?

Neil is an inspired artist and a uniquely gifted lyricist. His approach to the piece of music I wrote really reflected the contemplative sounds.

The vocal melded with the music as if it had been there all along and when I heard it I was floored.

That’s his gift and he can apply it just about anywhere.

The way that I compose comes from a very different place, and having the music composed before the vocal gave it a space to move somewhere of its own. Even though Neil and I share similar interests, our frame of reference is not the same.

What do you think you provide to the partnership that Neil hasn’t had before, and what does Neil add to your artistic ethos?

I’m not sure about what he hasn’t had before, necessarily, that would be implying a lot on my behalf. I certainly think that I’ve taken it partly down the road of early, naive experimenting, the ‘hitting pots and pans’ and reversing cassettes at slowed-down speed approach. My production tends to be quite ambient at times; I’m inspired by artists such as TIM HECKER, ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER and ROLY PORTER. That’s potentially something that will have been liberating for Neil, to make music away from the expectations of a band with BLANCMANGE’s legacy.

Working with Neil has given me a real impetus to be a bit freer, encouraged me to think more considerately but at the same time be less precious with ideas, and that’s helped the project to avoid the potential stagnation you can get as a solo producer when you spend too long overworking ideas. Neil is very inspired, works quickly, executes great judgement and as I said before, is lyrically intuitive and sensitive. It’s been a long time since I’ve written collaboratively with someone, but it feels like we are on to a very good thing.

BERNHOLZ How things are madeYour debut BERNHOLZ album ‘How Things Are Made’ was well received, how will you juggle Near Future with recording your own second long player?

Well, juggling both these projects with my own little biological project (a baby due any day now!) will be very interesting. I’ve been working on my half of the NEAR FUTURE album and my own record ‘The Innermost Surfaces In Eggshells’ in tandem, and I really enjoy it.

Sometimes I’ll be inspired to work on one as it will fit with my thought pattern at the time. They are very different in terms of mood and execution.

My own solo album is a complete departure from my debut, more like an art soundpiece rather than songs, whereas the NEAR FUTURE tracks, even though they retain that experimentation, are a lot more focussed on collaborative songwriting. It’s hard to rein in all the ideas I have floating around sometimes, I release other music as part of an ongoing ‘Consequences’ project too. I’m quite lucky that I can put my eternal distractions and procrastination to good use.

Parts of ‘How Things Are Made’ were reminiscent of DALEK I LOVE YOU; as they were heavily inspired by Eno too, this is maybe not entirely surprising. What was your reaction to hearing DALEK I LOVE YOU for the first time?

I remember ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK have drawn those comparisons before, but honestly, they’d never been on my radar before! I look forward to delving into the catalogue more, but recollecting hearing them the first time, I remember thinking, “Great!”

Are you and Neil likely to perform live together in the NEAR FUTURE?

We certainly hope so. We are discussing a few shows potentially at the moment, we just have to work out the logistics (and a set list), but we have a new song, albeit a cover, due imminently.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to Jez Bernholz

With thanks to Steve Malins at Random Music Management

‘Ideal Home’ b/w ‘Overwhelmed’ is released by Blanc Check Records and available as a download single via the usual digital outlets

Pre-order the NEAR FUTURE album ‘Ideal Home’ at https://nearfuture.tmstor.es



Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
17th May 2015, updated 14th March 2018


When the supreme GAZELLE TWIN aka Elizabeth Bernholz meets an animator and film maker Carla McKinnon, the most suiting expectation of the collaboration would be a piece of work of extraordinary texture and intensity.

The Brighton artist, whose classical vocal training has shone brightly since her first outing with ‘The Entire City’, likes to keep herself under wraps, as far as her image is concerned.

The material she produces can be at times challenging to its recipients, but Bernholz is “not one to explain or justify my work to anyone, least of all try persuade someone to persevere with it if they don’t already have the desire to do so”. Having worked with JOHN FOXX and GARY NUMAN amongst others, the avid fan of anything between BJORK, COCTEAU TWINS and PRINCE, the artistic vision of GAZELLE TWIN spans wider than your average field of electronica.

‘Out Of Body’ was originally commissioned by the London Short Film Festival in 2015, and is a continuation of her previous album ‘Unflesh’.

‘Unflesh’ being an unprecedented mixture of hardly melodic, semi-autobiographical metaphysical unease, dealing with matters of body and mind, it heralded a swift change of mood from its predecessor, ‘The Entire City’, which had been wilfully cinematic and uncomplicated.

If what you want to see is “disturbing but beautiful visual world of stop-frame animated organs, orthodontics and televisual anxiety dreams”, all canvassed within ambient, industrial or tortured narration by Bernholz, then you’re in for a treat.

‘Blood Gushes I’ opens the soundtrack with ominous heartbeat sound developing into narrow and sparse source of factory-like approach to how the human body works. Synonymous with ‘Warm Leatherette’ by THE NORMAL in its minimal sound, it is innovative, as much as nearly tribal in texture.

‘Puberty’ describes that awkward time in teenage life, where the body changes and the hormones rule it all. Musically, it is presented in a typewriter kind of fashion, listing the ominous shifts heralding the necessary development process, while ‘Teeth’ deal with the orthodontics subject.

The second part of ‘Blood Gushes’ audibly resembles the voice of the dead Laura Palmer from David Lynch’s cult series ‘Twin Peaks’, but it’s far more textured and layered from its previous volume.

The previously released ‘Phobia’ could easily pass as a splendid track by GOLDFRAPP; a superb vocal and ethereal melody, all blended out into the following track ‘Cutting Into Flesh’. Are we performing an operation? The cutting sounds; blood, pushing, shoving, grinding, saving life?

The last track in the song cycle is ‘Anti Body’. The metallic, rigid, stomping melody handles the voices in a vivacious manner, effortlessly blending into a heavy beat of synthy dance, before it drifts away closing the soundtrack.

Is it easy listening? No, it’s not.

Is it arty? Immensely!

Best experienced as a unity of music and film, this album fortifies GAZELLE TWIN’s position as the gem brightly shining in the sea of mediocrity, rising well beyond anything non-metaphysical and ordinary.

It is heavy, but so are its subjects. Only a few are prepared and enough equipped to elaborate, and Elizabeth Bernholz is certainly one of them.

With thanks to Steve Malins at Random Music Management

‘Out of Body’ is released by Anti-Ghost Moon Ray as a digital download on 18th March 2016, available from https://gazelletwin.bandcamp.com/album/out-of-body-soundtrack





Text by Monika Izabela Goss
16th March 2016

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