3 june 2009
#: HAUNTOLOGIST 02
note: "June brought “EP2,” a trickle of information, and even a little promotion from the Hauntologists camp. For one, Stefan Schneider and Jay Ahern came forward to claim responsibility for the music. Schneider’s full-to-bursting CV includes laptop improvisation in September Collective, live percussion in the Arcade Fire-affiliated Belle Orchestre, and bass in To Rococo Rot and Kreidler — to say nothing of his solo recordings as Mapstation. Ahern, meanwhile, has built a sturdy reputation for rolling techno as Add Noise, notably collaborating with Robert Henke. Where this “techno not techno” makeup handily explains the sound of their debut, Hauntologists’ second EP is more refined, tidied, and “on-genre.” Stripped-down, more functional percussion sacrifices a lot of the untethered, real-time vitality of the first record but, on the plus side, this record’s sound in general is richer and fuller. The bass lines stand out in particular, wound into tight, springy coils of almost tactile detail. The template pushes all the right buttons but — here comes the hand-wringing — to me, this sounds more like applied formula than the earlier record. With the exploratory rough edges sanded down, tracks like “A2″ and “B2″ sound a bit indistinct. That said, “B1″ works rather brilliantly, with ominous ripples and writhing funk that craft a creepy mood and somnambulist groove more potently than anything else they’ve done. At this point, a more literal interpretation of the name “Hauntologists” might be in order: practitioners in the study of the spine-tingling." - Chris Burkhalter.