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Ghost In The House - Second Sight
CD (San Francisco)

-Ghost Train
-Metal Land Miniatures
-The Dream Machine
-Warning Signs
-Innocence Walks A Dark Path
-Dockside Discovery
-The Bats

Ghost In The House: Kyle Bruckmann, Tom Nunn, David Michalak, Karen Stackpole
Special Ghosts: John Ingle, Dean Santomieri, Polly Moller, Cindy Webster, Bart Hopkin

(Disaster Amnesiac) Not to take anything away from the two discs preceding this one, but Ghost In The House's Second Sight is definitely the most juicily varied of the shipment. This group plays out fairly often, and their lineup is pretty stable. Thus, their sound is that of a working band. Disaster Amnesiac has seen them a few times, but can't recall Kyle Bruckmann hitting with them. He brings really great oboe and English horn classicism feels to tracks such as Low and Metal Land Miniatures. These tones contrast the metallic inventions from Tom Nunn and the prodigious gongs of Karen Stackpole. David Michalak joins it all together with stringed accents. This quartet's interactions are subtle but not pensive; one gets the impression that they're playing with and listening to each other. Not always the case in Improvised Music, but Ghost In The House nail that dynamic. Guest appearances from Dean Santomieri with his compelling elocution on The Dream Machine (along with Polly Moller), Dockside Discovery and the really funny The Bats (are hanging upside down), John Ingle's alto sax on Innocence Walks a Dark Path, Cindy Webster on saw, and Bart Hopkin on rumba box thicken the sweet and sour sonic pho of Second Sight. I used to know a guy who'd say about a still-developing band, "it ain't soup yet"; Ghost In The House have gone beyond all that. This group is the stock that some others are basing their stuff upon. - Mark Pino

(Chattanooga Pulse) A friend once referred, somewhat comically disparagingly, to the sinister sounds and musique concrète of the British act Nurse With Wound as “haunted house music”. That came to mind when listening to the new album Second Sight from Ghost in the House, which evokes a sort of playful, eerie mood while providing transportive, experiential qualities—sure, it’s a dark, haunted house but the ghosts are friendly rather than terrifying. (Simpsons creator Matt Groening once wondered if Casper the Friendly Ghost was once Casper the Friendly Boy, but this writer digresses.) The core quartet explores the scenarios presented by filmmaker and multi-instrumentalist David Michalak, intended to evoke vivid pictures (with the titular “second sight” being music-invoked visuals) from hard-to-place sounds and occasional storytelling. Michalak (on lap steel, bass, “sonoglyph 2” and “box of junk” among other things) is joined by oboe and English horn player Kyle Bruckmann, instrument inventor Tom Nunn (who plays instruments including the “friction twister”, “ghost plate”, and “crustacean”) and percussionist Karen Stackpole who employs a number of gongs and metallic and wooden percussion, sometimes suggesting an Asian influence. Free from the constraints of consistent rhythms, Second Sight oozes freely with a dizzying array of sounds and a fog of mystery. Various animals make cameos, such as Alaskan seals and penguins on the squeaky “Warning Signs” or bat voices on “The Bats (are hanging upside down)”. One constant on the album is the melding of dark forces with playful attitudes, like on “Innocence Walks a Dark Path”. which combines ominous drones with the recurring “nanny nanny boo boo” melody. However, the album takes a grotesque turn with “Dockside Discovery”, with spoken-word vocals that describe a severed head being pulled out of the water, among wispy sounds and disquieting noises. But, for the most part, the aural variety and mischief on Second Sight make it a welcome experience into unknown depths. - Ernie, Paik

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