Ghosts of the Holy Ghost Spermic Brotherhood – Ghosts of the Holy Ghost Spermic Brotherhood (2013)

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They have a mysterious (and humorous) name, and the Ghosts Of The Holy Ghost Spermic Brotherhood are a little mysterious themselves. However, they did make a self-titled record that should go on sale any day, now.

We do know some essential bits of information, like who is in the band, and they are all seasoned vets of the New York downtown scene. Andy Haas plays sax, flute, a couple of exotic Korean wind instruments (piri and hojok) and electronics. Michael Evans bangs on a snare drum, twiddles with electronics and tosses objects around. David Grollman also mans a snare drum and manipulates balloons and stuff. So we’re aware that there are woodwinds, and twice as many percussionists as there are tonal players. Ahhh, the plot thickens.

Ghosts Of The Holy Ghost Spermic Brotherhood comprises of twelve, mostly brief improvisations, named after the special characters found on your keyboard, like “?” and “+”. And just as we don’t use those keys very often, the trio seems intent on making sounds musicians don’t reach for very often, if at all. Sometimes, it’s noisy metal clatter, an electronically smeared sax note or the squeal of air being let out of a balloon. These random sounds and “found objects” at times collide with contemplated notes blown by Haas, although “contemplated” shouldn’t be confused with “notated,” as nothing here is. Nor has anything been edited or overdubbed. That’s amazing especially since it occasionally appears that Haas is heard playing more that one instrument at once.

Deep down there’s a feeling that somewhere under this arbitrary haze of shapeless racket roam mischievous spirits that are secretly orchestrating all this, and that’s what keeps me engaged. Ghosts of the Holy Ghost lurking about, you might say.

It’s not really music as we know music, but likely no one ever claimed so. As noise art, though, it hits the bull’s-eye.

Ghosts Of The Holy Ghost Spermic Brotherhood is brought to us by the equally esoteric ResonantMusic.

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