Somnambule - Writing About Music

Christian Kleine ~ Real Ghosts

Although an active music-maker for more than a decade, Kleine’s star has risen more steeply since calendars turned over to the new millenium. Real Ghosts is his second long player for German idm/pop label City Centre Offices who also play host to the likes of Arovane and Ulrich Schnauss. Real Ghosts delivers a varied set of ten songs whose market differentiation is achieved by the presence of that once revolutionary instrument, the electric guitar, as well as occasional bass and even harmonica. Kleine, previously known as an exclusively electronic producer, successfully melds the two potentially disparate types of instrumentation into a streamlined, sophisticated whole. First track Home’s neo-hiphop beats drive alternating sections of muted guitar heroics and ambience. Like The Clouds, Like The Sky introduces some thrumming dub bass, gilded with occasional harps, while Ghostwriting prangs with loud metallic guitar which almost but not quite obliterates everything else. If Joy Division and Durutti Column producer Martin Hannett were still around, perhaps he’d be producing music a little like this. Real Ghosts achieves a convincing sense of flow and its welcome sonic variety carries frequent hints of the cinematic. Kleine’s sound, though not exactly groundbreaking, is crisp, fresh and highly enjoyable.
Colin Buttimer
October 2004
Published by Signal To Noise magazine