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For the past ten years, Michigan’s Ghostly International has forged a reputation for being a well curated label whose avant-pop sounds have always tested the boundaries of the electronic music frontier. As the launching pad for artists such as Solvent, Matthew Dear, Syntaks, and Detroit wunderkind Deastro, Ghostly’s reputation for scouting out exciting new talent is entirely deserved.
Case in point: the May 4th release of Horizon Line / Ghostly By Night, a two-disc set of unreleased and re-engineered material from the Ghostly stable of artists. Disc one consists of previously issued tracks which have been remixed by the hands of acts including The Antlers, Madlib, and The Russian Futurists, while the second disc is comprised of ten new compositions by contributors including Mux Mool, Lusine, and this song by Deastro.
“Mowgli the Lynx” boasts an awesome title and a cascading symphony of arpeggiated synthesizer notes swaddled around Randolph Chabot’s dreamy, faraway vocals. Indeed, the whole song has an affinity for the shoegazers’ spacey and spacious proclivities even if it doesn’t share their approach (it is more on the Caribou side of the musical family tree than near Ulrich Schnauss’ boughs).
Whoever its geneological kin may be, there is no doubt “Mowgli” has a mesmerizing spirit. Its melodies perform a spiraling dance around one another like a double helix rendered audible, all twists and turns but with symmetrical grace. For this reason, Deastro may not be approachable enough for all listeners, but it is this selfsame idiosyncratic appeal that ultimately makes his music so dazzling. Here the ride is its own reward, filled with glistening highs and wondrous undulations.