Kendrick Lamar, Drake Feud Escalates With New Diss Tracks

Oren Ambarchi, Johan Berthling, Andreas Werliin – Ghosted II
Drag City

You’d be forgiven for thinking that, on the second outing of his Ghosted trio, Oren Ambarchi had ditched his guitar. 

Ghosted II—which also features Swedes Johan Berthling (bass) and Andreas Werliin (drums)—maintains the rhythm section’s crispy minimalism, groovy succulence, and repetitive polyrhythmic flair. But the Australian composer’s eccentric guitar phrasing appears to have been replaced by a variety of synths. 

These keyboardlike sounds can be knife-edged and chimelike, like an electric organ in a bad mood, as on the bass harmonic-filled, tightly patterned “Två” (the tracks are named after Swedish numerals—this one’s number two), or crackling and corrosive, as on the fizzy opener “En.” However, according to Drag City, the band’s adventurous label, Ambarchi is indeed playing guitar, though the secrets of his sonic alchemy remain mysterious. 

But perhaps technical specifics are beside the point. What’s important is how Ambarchi uses his transmogrified tones to both stretch and ground his group’s highly intuitive songs, lending grainy texture to transcendental zone-outs and twinkling, ultraviolet color to propulsive toe-tappers. 

By the time brittle, harplike cascades of picked notes appear around halfway through “Tre,” you’ll be so locked into the trio’s instinctual, unstoppable momentum that you won’t immediately notice the emergence of a definite emotional arc: “Fyra” ends the album with a processional sequence of more splintery notes, ultimately blooming into a 100%, fully recognizable guitar riff to wrap things up. 

Fittingly for an album whose title sounds like a sequel, Ghosted II boasts a strong resolution that nonetheless feels like a new beginning. GRADE: A-

You can check out Ghosted II on Bandcamp and elsewhere.

More from Spin:

Drag City

To see our running list of the top 100 greatest rock stars of all time, click here.