Mind How You Go
The Advisory Circle
The Ghost Box label is a boutique operation dedicated to distilling the essence of a particular moment in English media culture, encapsulated in this short EP by The Advisory Circle (aka Jon Brooks). These eight tracks offer an uncanny blend of library music, institutional electronica, BBC Open University audiologophonics and daft, po-faced clips sampled and distorted from daytime science programmes. If that mix seems nerdy and limited in scope, there’s a great deal of contemporary electronica that’s more dated than this, and for anyone whose ears were growing during the 70s, its earnest electronics and broadwinged optimism get surprisingly deep under the skin.
The latest Ghost Box release, Mind How You Go by the Advisory Circle, is worth £4.50 of anyone’s money. The packaging alone justifies the outlay. The standard elegance of the Ghost Box design is actually
heightened by being distilled and miniaturized on a dinky 3″ CD. The sounds are the by now familiar-strange Ghost Box signatures: slightly
angular analogue synths and a summer haze of voices (lifted from public service films and children’s records) benignly conspiring to produce a convivial uneasy listening. The past as a shared dream.
‘And the Cuckoo Comes’, with its cut-glass intoning of a child’s rhyme, is my personal favourite; its faintly sinister refraining reminiscent of the use of nursery lyrics in Sapphire and Steel.