The Focus Group 'Elektrik Karousel' LP
The Elektrik Karousel is the new album from The Focus Group, the alias of graphic designer and co-manager of Ghost Box records Julian House, and it’s the most sonically rich, enjoyable and psychedelic so far. It’s an evolution of the Cut-Up experiments of the earlier albums where House developed a musical style that mirrored his collaged design work. House's graphics are familiar to millions through his work for Broadcast, Oasis, Primal Scream and Stereolab, amongst many others. On Elektrik Karousel House, with help in the studio from Broadcast, weaves his samples into a rich tapestry of electronics, fuzzed guitar and processed exotic instrumentation together with fractured skipping rhythms and submerged melodies. There's a weird alchemy at work that manages to distill essences of jazz, psychedelia and soundtracks into something utterly unique.
For a clue to its moods, think Czech animation, Italian Giallo, early Radiophonics, HP Lovecraft stories, 1960s underground cinema, Lewis Caroll and baroque psych.
Given House's design credentials, it will come as no surprise that Ghost Box places great importance on physical products and has tweaked the formats this time round to produce a luxuriously packaged super heavyweight vinyl LP (complete with free download codes) and a highly desirable 8 panel digipak CD package.
The design is heavily inspired by 1960s underground press and conceived as a kind of mind altering DIY board game
Catalogue number: GBX018LP
Label: Ghost Box