What's the sound of one hand clapping? Probably something really close to that of a guy jacking off. Likewise, one-man bands tend to embody the more masturbatory traits to which musicians are prone: self-absorption, self-indulgence, self-congratulation and lots of other annoying qualities prefixed by the word "self." Eric Crespo (below), though, keeps his ego in check and his hands out of his pants with his solo project, Ghost to Falco. Started in 2001 as an auxiliary to his day gig, Portland's art-punk outfit Alarmist, Ghost to Falco is Crespo's repository for all the loops, drones, swells and whispers that rattle around inside a lonely brain. His 2003 debut, Torn or Broken, Shadowed or Dark, Cast Off All Doubts and Ride the Flame to Freedom, is a five-song plunge into the icy waters of non-being; echoing with empty space and soft voices, it pulls at the spirit like a death wish. Guitars and synthesizers are twisted around and fed back into each other until they spiral into vast, gaseous shapes, a sound as ethereal yet densely epic as that of Windsor for the Derby, VVRSSNN or even Meddle-era Pink Floyd. If you can wrap your head around a performance of almost Zen-like grace and mystery, cue Ghost to Falco.
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