Belbury Poly and The Advisory Circle – Study Series 08 (Ghost Box)

SH | In ‘hauntological’ music, Derrida’s assertions are being eclipsed by a thin fetish for ‘analog’, ‘library music’, ‘old soundtracks’, and ‘folk’. It designates a particular kind of thrift shopper, and now, with the arrival of Ghost Box – itself designating a square container for the ineffable – a new kind of SME, rather than a ‘real’ haunting by a spectral Karl Marx.

But perhaps we should not scream. Much mainstream culture in Britain is dipping into World War Two and Cold War aesthetics, and negating them for its own ideological ends, for instance Keep Calm and Carry On, with its attendant mentality, which saturates everyday life. Then there’s ‘folk’, which, once it has been flattened, can be inserted into Kirsty Allsop’s ‘Craft’, with its provincialism and elision of class, which in turn soaks into Nigel Slater’s fantastically un-checked confusion over where something is grown with the what and how.

But actually I was delighted to find that this is essentially Holger Czukay karaoke, rather than some sort of dreary mourning for an invented Cold War past, re-collaged as a fantasy to wallow in as an alternative to facing our impotence to do anything about capitalism. Which actually means that it’s good old fashioned disco-retro, ‘Cool In The Pool’, not a spectre in sight, only ‘blue skies’ and ‘green shoots’.

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