We've heard plenty about computers enabling electronic music's dive into maximalism lately. But "Ghosthaus," the second release from Xosar stands adamantly opposed to the trend, both aesthetically and emotionally. While "Tropical Cruize," her 12-inch debut for L.I.E.S., embodied that label's in-from-the-fog sonics, Xosar's Rush Hour-released follow-up strips her music to its core: elemental arrangements, straightforward moods and relatively sober textures make "Ghosthaus" feel more like a debut than her actual one, and one senses something bravely personal in the approach. The title cut, playfully ominous with its staunchly grim melody and dramatic synth patches, certainly won't keep you up at night in the way Demdike Stare will, but it recalls the childlike fear of the unknown we're probably all familiar with. What "Rainy Day Juno Jam" evokes is less clear—new love, new weariness, stubborn hangover—but with its titular synth taking dead-aim at your heartstrings, you'll have a hard time not feeling something.
Legowelt, Xosar's near-constant touring partner this past year and a ubiquitous underground presence as of late, adds layers of complexity on his remixes of the originals. While plenty of listeners have noted the compatibility of their sounds, the results are mixed. Bizarrely, by infusing the track with his own subtle production tricks, Legowelt strips "Ghosthaus" of its own brand of subtlety, taking its weird sort of horror-movie poignancy to a less than desirable B-movie place. His take on "Rainy Day Juno Jam" maintains Xosar's mood far better, placing it in the seedy nightclub of Legowelt's dreams without over-milking the original's succulent melodrama.
Buy Xosar - Ghosthaus at
Tracklist: Xosar - Ghosthaus A1 Ghosthaus
A2 Ghosthaus (Legowelt Remix)
B1 Rainy Day Juno Jam
B2 Rainy Day Juno Jam (Legowelt Remix)