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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Team Ghost – You Never Did Anything Wrong To Me – Album Review

New EP from former M83 man, a bracing mix of shoegaze, electronica, krautrock and synth-pop

Written by Ian Steadman

team ghost review
Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010

Alternative Fashion Week is a funny old beast, viagra order one that I’ve been getting to know rather well over the past week. And really getting to become rather fond of. Every day I rock up at 1.15pm with no idea of what the day’s catwalk show would bring. Generally I come skidding to a halt on my bike just as the stout lady with the microphone finishes giving her daily spiel to the audience, order which is a funny old mixture of family, stuff friends, industry pundits (apparently, though I didn’t seen anybody I know) and interested city boys and labourers.

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010

On Tuesday I was still a novice, so I asked the lady at the back with a clipboard if I could sit down – being as I was press and that’s what it said on my ticket. “No.” She told me bluntly. “Not if you haven’t reserved a seat.” Oh alright then.

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010
Don’t hassle this lady. She’s very busy. She ensures that everyone gets out on the catwalk on time.

One major issue with this event is the lack of surrounding information – Alternative Fashion Week doesn’t have much of an online presence and the bumpf that I got sent in the post was basic to say the least. It certainly didn’t warn me that I needed to RSVP or go fuck myself. I always find it amusing how, because of the way I dress and the fact that I carry a big professional camera with me (photographers generally being the scum of the earth and all that), I am treated in a certain way. Oh world of fashion, you do make me larf. Still, I like to travel incognito, so it suits me.

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010
Some of the audience really aren’t going to help you get ahead in fashion – bemused city workers look on.

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010
The band. They’re quite naff.

Now I actually think that the lack of a seat was a blessing in disguise – I spent about ten minutes on day one attempting to watch the catwalk shows front stage before realising that there was far more fun to be had hanging around the back, where a big old melange of models, designers, city workers, pervy middle aged male photographers and screaming organisers raced about like mad things – it made for far more interesting photos, and I got to boss the girls around when they come off stage. (Something none of the other photographers seemed to do. It must be something to do with my background as a fashion photographer because I have no qualms with telling a model how to pose. Though of course the rest of the cameras descended in front of me like locusts once I’d arranged a shot.) So whilst I can report generally on the outfits, I have no idea what any of the catwalk presentations were like. Not that I think that matters – it’s the clothes that are important, right?

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010
“Hello young lady, can I take a photo of you because you don’t appear to have a bra on.” Believe me, there was only a pair of nipple tassles under that jacket.

The standard at Alternative Fashion Week is massively variable but amongst the huge quantity of stuff there are some really interesting designers to be found – ones that I would wager money on becoming successful. So it’s important to give into the undeniable exuberance of the occasion: everyone is quite simply having a ball. Some of the “models” may be slightly ropey, some of the designs outstandingly bad, but the fact that such an event exists to promote up and coming talent is a good thing. It’s just a shame they don’t have more resources to make sure that each designer gets as much promotion as possible: I had real trouble trying to figure out which was which. And that I at least had the choice of a seat if I had wanted.

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010
Model or mum? You decide. Perhaps both. There are all comers here.

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010 Alex Seroge
Alex Seroge showed a very strong collection.

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010
Great styling from Hayley Trezise.

Over the week I have got better at making a note of who all the designers are, no mean feat when juggling camera, iphone and twitter updates. So if you see your work on my website and it hasn’t been properly credited do drop me a note and let me know. I’ve also learnt a lot about what you should and shouldn’t do at Alternative Fashion Week if you want to make an impression – and that shall be the subject of another post.

Alternative Fashion Week Spitalfields 2010
Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Kimberley Startup.

Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Havering College get ready to go on stage.

Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Adel Andic.

Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Maartje de Man.

Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
It’s tough when your bum is hanging out in the street.

Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Checking through the running order backstage.

Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010
Alternative Fashion Week Day Spitalfields 2010

For those of you unfamiliar with the loud, sales scattershot-shoegazing electronic noise group M83, approved then perhaps it might make sense to take a quick break here and catch up. Anything will do, though it seems to be generally accepted that their 2003 record Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts is their high point; shortly after its release Nicolas Fromageau left the band to pursue his own projects, and I (like many others) had assumed that by now he had simply dropped away into the ether. Not the case at all, as it turns it – he’s back with Team Ghost, a new project with multi-instrumentalist Christophe Guerin, and with it taking the M83 project in a new direction, towards the realms of krautrock and synth-pop. The album cover (although technically this is an EP) should make it clear that this is cut from a decidedly darker and ruder cloth than the work of M83 – Team Ghost aren’t afraid to flash a bit of tit.

‘Lonely, Lonely, Lonely’ is the longest track. Fromageau’s choice, opening his own group’s first record effort with a song that’s surprisingly close to M83 in spirit, seems a strange one at first. It’s tempting to write this off immediately as merely a pastiche of his last band, and already as the music builds up I’m thinking of ways to describe this record as merely one man’s way to satisfy his own ego… and then it ends. I’m going to go out on a limb here and call this predictable instrumental track tongue-in-cheek. Just a hunch.

A Glorious Time’, though, kicks in with a huge wall of guitar feedback, sounding like some poppier indie band discovering a distortion pedal. Fromageau sings, “leave it all behind you… leave it all behind you,” over and over the guitar’s swirl. It’s a straight-up shoegaze track, and whilst not hugely original it’s already a sign of a more diverse lineup to come. It’s followed by ‘Sur Nous Les Étincelles Du Soleil’, a dreamy, twinkling song with some sultry French chanteuse breathing sweet nothings down in the mix. It’s halfway through before it’s clear that this is more post-rock than shoegaze, but of a very nocturnal sort.

Raising us from our slumbers comes ‘Echoes’, followed by ‘Only You Can Break My Heart’, which both fight it out for the distinction of being labelled the best track on here. The former is a pulsing tribute to Neu! and early-80s new wave – it’s surprisingly groovy for an artist like Fromageau, but not unexpected considering the influences being chucked about here. It’s the kind of thing that makes me excited to see what Team Ghost might do next; so too can this be applied to ‘Only You Can Break My Heart’, a pounding track that sounds not unlike No Age trying to beat the bloody hell out of a synthesiser. Totally instrumental, but completely bracing.

Colours In Time’ sounds eerily like an Air track remixed by Crystal Catles; Fromageau’s French lilt, crooning over a song that sounds not dissimilar to what you’d have found pumping out of an arcade game’s speaker system circa 1994. Then there’s ‘Deaf’, another bout of semi-shoegaze but this time more in the style of the recent Horrors album – it’s a shimmering track, and a satisfying closer to the album.

It may have taken him nigh-on seven years to finally find his feet, but Fromageau has clearly found a music partner with a clearly similar outlook and vibe. Where this EP really comes into its own is where it departs from the M83 formula, strikes out on its own with its own new influences. If they can maintain, hell, even improve upon the kind of collages they have here in songs like ‘Echoes’ then it will be fascinating to see where Team Ghost go to next.

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