Darrell Ford
staff writer
April 27, 2006
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Rock Music Reviews
Ghostigital – In Cod We Trust

Fusions of jazz and rap, or even electronica and rap, are not exactly uncommon these days. Add [just about anything you can think of] to the aforementioned combinations on the same album and you have part of the story of Ghostigital’s In Cod We Trust. But this isn’t just the band throwing everything they like into a blender and hitting frappe – there is reason and structure to sonic collisions even before your ears make their feeble attempts to decipher it all. Considering that the gentlemen involved (1) are Icelandic musicians who have worked with electric countrypersons Bjork and Mugison and (2) are signed to art-everything label Ipecac, most listeners would be better off trying to absorb the music rather than understand it.

"How abstract can you get?" By the second track ("Not Clean"), Einar Örn lets us know that neither he nor partner multi-instrumentalist Curver is certain what the outcome is going to be. The sonic landscape is perhaps too rich and overwhelming at times, but the duo [or perhaps the very nature of electronica] gives the listener a simple solution. Songs like "Crackers" and "Dream Of Sleep" are readily distilled, allowing almost unfettered access to the vocals. Topics discussed on the album include a surreally eventful trip to the store to buy crackers, the creation and loss of memory, and going to get a drink at the bar. The relatively mundane lyrics should not lull listeners into to ignoring In Cod We Trust's sonic offering. The patient and attentive listener is rewarded with Easter eggs that might otherwise be overlooked [such as the tender guitar riff buried under a fury of skat and synthesizer tones on "The Heart" or the gritty and scratched trumpet loop that being calmed by a chanted mantra and a spectacular (if pessimistic) rap on "Black Sand"].

It’s hard to be sure where the album shifts from experimental to noise, but there is a shift from discernibly pleasant beats to the band simply bludgeoning the listener with drums and then slathering on static ["Sense of Reason," the album closer suffers this malady]. Unfortunately, this leaves the listener remembering that the album is annoying, rather than reinforcing the earlier impressions of the catchier and more soothing tracks. There are certainly great moments on In Cod We Trust and careful listeners will find enough surprises to warrant multiple repeats. Unfortunately, other potential fans will simply turn off the record during one if its more eclectic or confusing moments.

Either view could be right. And Einar and Curver probably wanted it that way. "How abstract can you get?" Very.

Release date: March 7, 2006
Label: Ipecac Recordings
Rating: 6.3 / 10

On the web: http://ghostigital.com/story/
[RMR]