The KrysaliSound label is chiefly noteworthy not for its vast array of artists but the fact that all of its projects are helmed by one man, that artist being Francis M. Gri from Italy. The second album in his own name, ‘Ghost Dreamers Town’, appears to be an outlet for his ambient/post-rock direction but its subtly seductive charms ensure it is far deeper than any vanity affair.
‘Urban Passengers’ plays on repeated themes of steady electronic pulses, stately keyboard melodies and a general air of ennui. Levels of tension are gradually built up during the track’s nine minute length; making it a good appetiser for what is to follow. In contrast, the superb ‘Elements’ possesses a sense of urgency as soon as it begins; resembling a high speed train journey through European cities. There’s a lovely mix of piano keys and Cocteau Twins-like layers of etherealism on the graceful ‘Blue Desert’ and ‘Quiet Place’ does a decent job of recalling Joy Division’s ‘Atmosphere’ but most stunning of all is ‘Run Escape’ which bolts dreampop melody on to a relentless rhythmic undertow.
The tendency with instrumental albums is that they can drift in to aural wallpaper and by clocking in at just under an hour, this record was in danger of falling into that familiar trap. Fortunately for us, Gri’s journey through ‘Ghost Dreamers Town’ is a deliciously melodic, flowing set of pieces which evoke, relax and inspire in equal measure.