Ghost in the Synth - Insectarium

Released: July 4

The third release this year from Switzerland-based Ghost in the Synth (Andres Solares), Insectarium consists of seven long-form tracks cleverly named after a variety of different insects, with each track seemingly being aurally representative of the bug after which it is named. It's an interesting exploration of a somewhat off-kilter concept, kind of like going into a museum of natural science and getting an in-depth  and up-close examination of each of these little critters, complete with all the alien-like weirdness that each possesses. What's especially interesting about this effort is that Andres uses nothing but modular synthesis to create these soundscapes without reliance on any field recordings. 

A particularly apt example is "Cicada," which recreates that telltale buzz of the large insect but gives it an oscillating pitch, wildly shifting from low to high as it pings around in a large empty space and echoing off the walls in abstract fashion, as if the space it is placed in is just as alien as the sounds produced. Similarly there is "Hornet," a track with an angry low buzzing sound that is joined with a tingling high pitched sound that pops in and out. It gives off the vibe of a hornet quite well, as I imagine it buzzing around my head while it tries to decide whether or not it is going to ruin my day by stinging me repeatedly. As a finale, we step into the space of "Moth," a slow-burning track that waxes and wanes in pitch as it is fed through a trippy granular delay all while it feels like there is some obscured and fuzzy bit of light in the distance that it is trying to head towards. Very apt for the subject, I have to say.  



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