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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

David Wright Walking with Ghosts (2002)

Updated: Sep 25, 2022

Walking with Ghosts is a stroke of genius where David Wright is architecting a fantastic musical odyssey

1 Going Down? (2:24) 

2 A Certain Malaise (2:13) 3 Road to Nowhere (A Nomadic Tale) (3:10) 4 Midnight in the Shadow of Temptation and Delight (3:47) 5 Return of the Nomad (4:39)

6 Beyond Paradise (7:41) 7 Night Moves (6:30)

8 Darklands (4:13)

9 Flame Sky (7:09) 10 No More Angels (7:33)

11 Too Late Now! (3:38) 12 Walking With Ghosts

(Penumbra) (5:26) 13 Walking With Ghosts (The Gift) (5:50) 14 Walking With Ghosts (Acheron) (5:50) 15 Walking With Ghosts (C'est La Vie) (4:15) AD Music | AD 40CD

(CD 74:21) (V.F.)

(Symphonic EM, E-Rock, Ambient)

For so calling experts, David Wright's music is simply New Age. As if it would be impossible, even unthinkable, of making harmonious and melodious music without being labelled as a New Ager. Moving works such as Voices (Vangelis) and The Songs of Distant Earth (Mike Oldfield) were wrongly catalogued as being New Age, whereas they are all simply jewels of tenderness on hybrid rhythms that flow slowly to support a world of electronic harmony. WALKING WITH GHOST is part of these mythical works which will exceed the wear of time. And yet, it's an album which allies fury and melody on powerful rhythmic whirlwinds and on delicate morphic flights. And in this mixture of two antipodes with so breathtaking paradoxes, nests one of the most beautiful melodies to have emerged from the depths of a musical art to the infinite possibilities. For these three reasons, WALKING WITH GHOST is an authentic classic of the modern electronic era.

A strident synth veil tears up the absence of sounds. And Going Down falls from space dressed in its reverberations which roll in a black cosmos, bathing of hardly audible voices which murmur in a somber sinister atmosphere. A Certain Malaise wakes up the malaise with a sharp rhythm. The percussions bang in the furrows of a strong line of bass which spit its cooing throbbing notes, molding a nervous rhythm which teams up to the moiré harmonies of Bil Kibby's guitar. Boosted, the ambience gets watered of a scent of a galactic western which rolls at countercurrent in the layers of a synth and mellotron subtleties. Road to Nowhere hangs on to this jerky and breathtaking up-tempo with a crazy stroboscopic approach where sequences stir up feverishly under the multiple layers of a synth saturated of silvery tones. Some insane tones which cross swords with a guitar heavy of its riffs. Andy Lobban's guitar throws its sharp harmonies which bite the melodious theme of a breakneck pace where frosty tones percussions and syncopated sequences reverberate their echoes on a galloping rhythm which wraps itself of a spectral synth. Faithful to his approaches tinted of a serene melancholy, David Wright sprinkles his wild rhythms with smooth mellotron strata. Strata which draw tears of violins and which calm the storm on Midnight in the Shadow of Temptation and Delight. These soft gliding layers rock the shouts of a solitary guitar which embraces a sort of celestial blues, caressing in the passage a languishing bass. We would believe to be between Pink Floyd and Code Indigo. This quiet passage is fast hunted of our dreams with the bubbling Return of the Nomad and its circular rhythm soaked into eroded lines. We go back to the initial stroboscopic structures where percussions, sequences and pulsations intersect and pulse in all directions, shaping a kaleidoscopic rhythmic approach and whipping of harmonies torn to pieces by a furious guitar and its metallic lines as well as by synth layers to vapors of fire and choirs wandering in prismic clouds. That's intensely powerful and violent. David Wright bursts out by shelling the first 17 minutes of WALKING WITH GHOST which roll in a very fast pace. Clouds blocked of iridescent tones enclose Return of the Nomad and weave the musical bridge which goes towards the splendid Beyond Paradise and Night Moves. Two titles which make only one and which build the assizes of a mesmerizing. A classic of David Wright's repertoire.

The rhythm is slow. Much slower than a down-tempo with glaucous chords which rise and fall under the breezes of a spectral synth which multiplies its waltzing loops on a theme that tears up the heart and splits the soul. Mellotron pads raise the backbone and tears away these sighs which prickle us the nose and wet the eyes. If you have the blues, it's the kind of sweetness to make you shed tears. We believe to have reached the paroxysm of sensibility when a saxophone throws us a solitary breath to be made swallow our sighs. Even my poodle got the blues. It's a ballad which turns us upside down. Absolutely sublime! After this heart-rending passage of emotions, we enter into the atmospheric phase of WALKING WITH GHOST with Darklands. A beautiful piano wrapped by a synth with violin strata serves us as guide. Melodious and minimalism it collides slowly on strange sound effects, as if a parallel world would follow this nostalgic walking. The synthesized sighs embrace an invisible connection where the ghostly violin of Ciona Lee crosses the guitar of Andy Lobban on Flame Sky; a very atmospheric track with odd oriental percussions on an absent tempo. A soporific guitar welcomes us on No More Angels; a slow title which waddles on violin strata before evaporating on a suave mellotron to be rock on a doubtful piano and a solitary sax which hide their solitudes on the comeback of undecided strata. Too late Now! concludes this portion in a cloud of increasing nebulosity, opening the door to Walking with Ghosts, the title-track, and its birds' shouts and church bells which get melt into a melodious piano which enchants with its neatness and its classical tone. Weaved in the shade of a synth to somber tones, this wonderful musical serenade flows with a delicate harmony filled by heavenly choirs. The dream stops abruptly to embrace a slightly hatched structure which swirls in a slow stroboscopic carousel, winding to a soft guitar to tones vaguely bluesy and a bass line with its muffled and resounding notes. The synth divides its singings and its mists on a melodic watercolor which dies out on the worn-out strings of a forsaken guitar. A weak and scattered melody crosses the divinity of a melancholic piano of which the pinkish melody introduces us to this walking with the ghosts. We hear them complaining under the reverberations of the piano which crumbles off in the arms of a serpentine harp. A passage obliged to reach a soft final which tears us away from our musing on a livened-up tempo. A finale with big orchestrations that makes of this walking with the ghosts, the most beautiful of the walks.

WALKING WITH GHOST is a stroke of genius where David Wright is architecting a long musical event in several parts linked in one fantastic musical odyssey. Rhythms and ambiences are constantly rocked by harmonies, happy ones as sad ones, which tease the ear with a splendid orchestration. This is melodic EM at its best!

Sylvain Lupari (April 23th, 2006) *****

Available at AD Music

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