Bringing out great music all over the world is one of our missions at Fluttery Records amd it makes us feel great. This time we are releasing great music from Malaysia. Founded by two brothers from Kuala Lumpur in 2009, Gespenst members don't call themselves a band. “We’re not a band, we’re brothers” says Syahmi.
Gespenst is made of Syahmi Rawi and Zuhair Rawi. The post-rock duo creates minimal riffs and sounds but presented in a big and cinematic style. Every note and riff in each song has its own emotion and shaped by ambient sounds and heavy soundscapes. Gespenst is influenced by the sound of Pg.Lost, Khoma, Mono, and Maybeshewill.
Gespenst has step up their game in The Bloodline, focusing on emotional value in each song without using any spoken words. The Bloodline has a symbolic meaning to Gespenst, portraying the meaning of love, rage and hope through musical presentation and blended with distorted riffs and melancholic strings.
“If your heart isn’t closed on fragile beauty and loves something more than intensive screaming and guitar-raping, please try and fall in love with Gespenst” – Shillenya, A Hymn For A Lost Soul. This EP starts with huge strings and screaming guitars in Silver Lining, sounds like they’re calling you to be a part of their pure and emotional journey." says Zuhair and adds "The Bloodline presents high level post rock since very beginning – shaking and staggering riffs, ambient background and main melody switching from keys, strings to guitar. Lesson well learned – put their level pretty high for rookies”
Gespenst crafted their music in The Bloodline as an epic emotional journey with vivid lights of hopes vanishing through every color of rage and drowning in the sea of sadness.
Heart Cooks Brain / Martin Smeets (8 / 10)
Imagine it is the night. In a big city. Let's put it in Kuala Lumpur. Heavy rain crackles, signs that the sun would ever rise again, studied in vain. A young woman is smoking on her balcony in the 28th Floor, from the bottom of the street noise flows with all its hustle up a dull roar. The smoker looks into the distance, a cinemascope-tracking shot continues her look through the urban canyons, and on. From somewhere else hear an ominous cello-acting, followed by a stray guitar melody. The picture darkens further in, heavy on drums resound, while a glockenspiel and there lights in the dark paints. Welcome to The Bloodline, welcome to the widescreen post-rock of ghost from - aha - Kuala Lumpur.
Music for the night you get served here, on a silver platter. Post-rock that synapses, leaves are falling, even more expressive images that are inherent in this album, waiting for their liberation. In 37 minutes they flit around then, wafting into the remotest corners, give shyly times, sometimes powerful, sometimes energetic. At the start, Silver Lining sounds like the tradition of Mono and Envy, are being developed post-rock prototype, first softly, then loudly and makes everything absolutely perfect. No question, ghosts know what they do, they know their job excellently. This ranges from the quiet enjoyment of beauty, as they are known by Explosions In The Sky, the songwriting finesse of Mogwai and the brutality of And So I Watch You From Afar. Big names are there, but also placing a tremendous burden to be borne to The Bloodline. Fortunately, this ghost go to extremely confident and relaxed. The seven songs on this record will always have the right ideas, the good tunes on their side. For example, the track with the same name of the album works its way with a healthy dose of hardness through his six and half minutes between euphony and expressiveness, and finally in the finals all the way up to fly - to burn the wing.
Powerful production of entire album lends the painting, a potential score. Memoir with its heavy piano and discreet electronics as grandiose attacks-by dystopian score; Departure fit on riotous landscape pictures in the late dusk; and the absolute highlight of this album, the stunningly good in September makes every possible situation a dazzling impression. A song of such sophistication, strength. Piled layer upon layer, the specter charming melodies, and finally is one of just under eight minutes post-rock once again thrilled and really blown away. Final track touches the listeners gently and quietly.
Nothing really new, but many things extraordinarily well. And so is The Bloodline is very classic and above all around it become successful piece of post rock.
MRU / Aoife Read (5 / 6)
At first when I read the description of Gespenst and saw that they were a Malaysian band my brain straight away jumped to cheese metal, (something as yet to be explained, but still!). Then their press release described them as ‘post rock’ and my concern deepened. What exactly, I thought to myself, is post rock? Well I’ll tell you what its not, it is definitely not cheese metal.
Comprising of Syahmi Rawi and Zuhair Rawi the duo, (yes they are brothers) bring something altogether fresh and exciting to the table. Emotion positively drips from each track. Held together by simple guitar licks and minimalist sloping piano riffs, the music maintains a rich multi dimensional sound that soars and flows from track to track.
If you have read any of my other reviews, you might already know that I am not the biggest fan of instrumental bands. I tend to feel that they fall a bit short and sound like something is missing. But not Gespenst. In fact, it wasn’t until halfway through the second track that I realised there was no vox line.
Their music is vast and epic. It’s the kind of thing you expect to hear on the ad for a big block buster action movie. Actually, whilst listening to the title track ‘Bloodlines’, images of long haired Lothario's on motorcycles, jumping through a cloud of fiery smoke kept being conjured up. Granted I had just watched a Steven Seagal box set, but you get my drift!
I had geared myself up or this blood pumping to continue, when on came ‘Memoir’. If we’re talking movies, this track is more Bela Lugosi than Steven Seagal and I loved it. It blew me away. Soft and lilting, it sweeps along eerily. It was haunting and resonant and is a truly beautiful track.
The album is almost post apocalyptic in its sound. It’s bleak and bold and packed with raw energy. In parts it’s almost gothic, and I honestly can not think of anyone to compare them to.
I was extremely impressed by these guys and I really did like the album. A genuinely unique act, they really fill their own little space at the rock table expertly.
A solid 5/6 from me.
Definitely worth a listen, just maybe, steer clear of the Seagal box set before hand!
Beach Sloth (7.3 / 10)
Gespenst’s ‘The Bloodline’ has adrenaline rushing through its veins. This Malaysia band’s work has elements of Post-Rock and Classical brought together. Each song feels strong, in a literal power sense. Sonically, it is a dense album. A lot goes on in these pieces. At moments they appear completely at ease right before they explode. Synthesizers are used strategically when the band needs to grow in size.
Clear references to Post-Rock are made throughout the album. ‘Silver Lining’ appears inspired by some of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s gradual builds. The band sounds particularly large in this setting. Actually the combination between the dainty sounds and the larger overall structure is quite effective. Gespenst is a much smaller band however; hence electronic effects do cover for some of the classical elements. They flirt with aspects of metal, similar to Mogwai’s approach to songwriting. Mogwai takes a more depressive view whereas Gespenst’s pent up energy is enthusiastic, cheerful in tone. ‘The Bloodline’ is fast track moving quickly from the beginning and ending with great dollops of drum crashes and distortion. By far my favorite is the ‘Explosions in the Sky’ referencing track, ‘September’. Here they leave out the heaviness for the whole first half of the track. Only after a well-placed sample do things begin to expand outwards.
Hope can be found in these seven tracks. ‘The Bloodline’ despite its name, is overall a positive album. Gespenst appears to be a happy band. Everything they do indicates a positive attitude towards the future.
Slave State / Michael Porali
All the way from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the brothers Syahmi and Zuhair found their way to the western sub-category we know as post rock. Or if it's post rock looking them up. Far more important is they do it successful that you can ever imagine and "The bloodline" is actually one of the most powerful I have heard in the genre in a long time. They have influences like pg.lost and Maybeshewill but they are succeed to over come. The track "Silver Line" itself proves all they ever need to prove. The fact that the six subsequent tracks are exactly the same high standard is not something I even need to mention, I hope? In short Gespenst succeed it by avoiding being protracted ambient just for the sake of it (Mono) and they never fail over to the metal tendencies such as Pelican often get stuck in.
"The Bloodline" is simply everything a post rock album should be and they do it in a interesting way. The tunes makes me want to run cinematic with open arms at sunset, or if I would prefer to hide under the bed sobbing spirit that nothing will ever work out. I just know that "The Bloodline" would be the right soundtrack for the two.
Caleidoscoop / Jan Willem Broek
I call Fluttery Records repeatedly as one of the most exciting, international labels, partly because they keep class bands from all over the world. Particularly post-rock field throwing them high eyes, but also on the experimental and neoclassical terms they come up with various leading groups. And the country list grows every time. A country that you might not expect you so soon in the post-rock list is Malaysia. Gespenst is consisting of the brothers and Zuhair Syahmi Rawi, and they are from the capital Kuala Lumpur. Once again, this proves that Fluttery Records' ears are open for the records from all over the world. At least, they are my first Malaysian post-rock band and the brothers also bring another high-level post-rock. They link tasty guitar riffs on piano parts, electronic orchestrations, strong percussion and vocals and sampled voices. The individual ingredients are sometimes brought by others, but the emotions and quirky nuances of the elements give the band its own identity. This also reminds the the typical guitar bands I Like Trains, Biffy Clyro and Maybeshewill. They handle the typical post-rock methods and get names like Mono and Mogwai. The various parties and piano (electronic) strings provide not only with some regularity for the beautiful resting places, they do play the music with strong emotions. Thus they created a CD which includes both the hard and deep quiet moments that manages to hit. In all respects a very surprising album. Great class!
Sea Of Tranquility / Jordan Blum
Post-rock is always a tough nut to crack. Its inherent emphasis on abstract structures and jigsaw puzzle construction usually polarizes listeners into two camps: those who find affective brilliance within the intricate musicianship and those who are utterly bored by the often repetitive sequences. Fortunately, on its newest release, The Bloodline, Gespenst crafts masterful compositions that just about anyone should feel fit easily into the former category. Honestly, this is some of the most emotionally engaging music I've heard in a long time, and the fact that each piece offers something special (without ever including vocals) is great.
Interestingly, the group is quick to declare, "We're not a band; we're brothers." Founded in 2009, Syahmi and Zuhair Rawl describe themselves as a duo "known by their minimal riffs and sounds but presented in a big and cinematic style." According to them, "Every note and riff in each song has its own emotion and shaped by ambient sounds and heavy soundscapes." Their influences include Khoma, Mono, and Maybeshewill, and I'd wager that fans of 65daysofstatic and Godspeed You! Black Emperor will find plenty to like on The Bloodline.
Although the album is relatively short (less than forty minutes), it's packed with poignant, heartfelt sentiments, as well as a plethora of fascinating ideas and impressive dynamics. Opener "Silver Lining" begins with ominous cellos before incorporating reserved percussion, profound orchestration, and minimalistic guitar lines. It builds wonderfully until its somber and reserved conclusion. As for the rest of the album, it contains variations on this approach. One second, a guitar line is piercing your heart, and the next, a sudden piano interlude is declaring picturesque longing. Intertwined within these elements are bold percussion, dreamy effects, and arresting orchestration. It's a wonder how the duo can compose such intricate pieces while still maintaining accessibility and universality.
The Bloodline is a masterful release; its countermelodies and dynamic expertise ignite our most delicate feelings, such as of longing, regret, and nostalgia. It's obvious that the Rawl brothers went into exhausting detail to ensure that each note and timbre is perfectly placed. All in all, there's no doubt that with the right memories in mind, this album will move you to tears, and I for one can't wait to hear what Gespenst does next.