Tabs Out | African Ghost Valley – Iberville

African Ghost Valley – Iberville

1.5.21 by Ryan Masteller

I know we’re a bunch of lily-livered cowards around here, shrinking from anything perceived to be too “dangerous,” or “spooky,” or “full of effort,” but I think in order for us to evolve, as Tabs Out contributors and fans and as human beings in general, we have to face our fears and conquer them. Case in point: we have a new tape here from African Ghost Valley, and if you looked at this thing and thought, “Ghosts? Nope, I’m out,” you’d be doing yourself a complete disservice, not to mention pigeonholing yourself as a “Shaggy” on the spine-o-meter. Because even though this tape does have some creepy vibes to it, there’s no reason that you should buy in to any mass hysteria whipped up certain cassette tape podcasts.

So while “Iberville” from African Ghost Valley is a little spooky, it doesn’t do the whole jump-scare thing at all to make you rethink your involvement. No, African Ghost Valley is instead all about mood, winking samples and synths at us as mystery builds, secrets churn and strive to get out in the open, and mists fall as evening descends. Walking through the woods on the cover illustration is a lone figure, and the seclusion of it all recalls pre-industrial Europe or America, whose untamed wilds were imprinted with the stories the imaginations of those in civilized areas and towns came up with, usually under a trance of religious fervor. What the heck is out there, and why is it constantly stealing our kids?

There I go, freaking you all out again with this thing. Truth is, no matter what’s out there is still out there, and if anybody claims to have authority about it better back it up with some actual evidence. Like, let’s go out wandering in the woods and find out for ourselves, shall we? If African Ghost Valley is a soundtrack to anything, it’s a soundtrack to that, and maybe “Iberville” is simply a jumping-off point. I can’t wait to let the slow-burn sonics of this EP sear into my ear canals as they imply danger and adventure in equal measure. I guess I, unlike many of my colleagues here (and you), have a little bit of backbone about this whole thing after all.

Oh, wait, nope – there is what looks like a witch on the inside of the j-card, and that’s probably the front-cover walker. That’s gonna mess me up for weeks.

“Iberville” out now on Jollies!

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