Music Notes: Codex, by Ghost Harmonic

Ghost harmonic codexI’ve written a number of articles here about the music of John Foxx, formerly of Ultravox, and who has had a long solo career since leaving the band in 1979. I’ve written about Ultravox, and about Foxx’s first solo album, Metamatic, which is one of the classics of electro-punk.

Foxx’s music comes in many flavors. There’s the early, glam/art-rock of Ultravox, the electro-punk, or more staid electro-pop, of his early solo career, but there’s also ambient music, which he’s recorded solo, and with artists like Harold Budd, Robin Guthries, and others.

This new album by Codex, a group that features John Foxx, together with Benge, and violinist Diana Yukawa, is part of that latter style. Much of it is atmospheric ambient music, with layered synthesizers and subtle waves of vocal melodies. Some of it includes improvisations by violinist Diana Yukawa, who provides an ethereal tone, and fits in perfectly with the slightly gray-tinged ambient sound of the album. In fact, my preferred track – the album is meant to be listened to as one long track, but is split into five – is the longest one, When We Came to this Shore, which features Yukawa’s violin prominently.

John Foxx constantly challenges himself to make new music, not music that sounds like what he’s done before, and in this collaboration, he succeeds very well with this long, atmospheric ambient work.

Check out the Ghost Harmonic website, where you can listen to the album, or buy it on Amazon.com, Amazon UK, or iTunes.

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