posted March 4th, 2024

In 2021, Oren Ambarchi, Johan Berthling and Andreas Werliin convened in Stockholm’s Studio Rymden to bring forth several monstrously hypnotic improvisations, ultimately bearing their debut: 2022’s widely-acclaimed Ghosted. Two years on, Drag City is now pleased to announce the release of Ghosted II, out on April 26, 2024.

Here, Oren, Johan and Andreas have crafted a follow-up record that fuels a rock-solid foundation with years of performing live together as a trio: a fulmination of propelling grooves and persisting meditations. Ghosted II travels to the deepest trenches of their experimentation while keeping several staples from their first collaboration intact: more time in Studio Rymden, more enchanting cover art from artist Pål Dybwik, and most of all, more music of sustained tension and deep atmosphere marked by subtle, shifting dynamics developed through the shocking, elemental telepathy between these three heady players.

The lead single, “Tre”, captures Oren's guitar — almost always sounding more like an organ than guitar — unhinging the roof off above thick breaths of rhythm torsion as the rhythm marches in and out of various times. Andreas' percussion weaves variations around Johan's unyielding bass theme, spurring communal flourishes that ripple the air like a harp strung with peacock feathers. The thematic music video captures “Tre” in a black-and-white limbo, continuing the group’s collaboration with director Cédrick Eymenier.

It should come as no surprise that the new album looks and sounds as engrossing as their debut — if not more so. The mutual feeling among the three players goes deep; as such, Ghosted II is an all-new recombination of elements, a further expedition through alternative shapes, angles and shades, and incredibly, a still all improvised creation: next-to-nothing prepared going in and minimal overdubs after the tracks are laid. Above and beyond their immaculate feel, there’s a strong sense of structure informed by the band's aesthetic, edified immeasurably by their time spent in concert the last couple years. Ambarchi, Berthling and Werliin summon a different kind of tension on Ghosted II, making something new based in a continuity rather than something new of the first order — an energy that drives their terse minimalism fruitfully through the process of succumbing to, and then transcending, guilty pleasures.

Finding fresh territory in funk sketches, jazzy heads, ambient pastorals and droning soundtrack pieces, Oren Ambarchi, Johan Berthling and Andreas Werliin compellingly haunt a mad variety of spaces, leaving us wanting to get Ghosted II. The wait ends April 26, but nerves can be calmed via pre-order: available on vinyl and digital.

Artists in this story: Oren Ambarchi / Johan Berthling / Andreas Werliin