REVIEW: GITM - "The Haunting Begins"

By MikeVentarola

Chain Border

The Haunting BeginsFrom Shorewood, WI, emerges an electronic duo that rank at the top with other stellar performing duos such as The Pet Shop Boys and Erasure. This is only the beginning of what promises to be a very lucrative career for both artists. The band abbreviated their name to GITM, as there was a conflict on MP3 with another artist with the same name of Ghost In The Machine. However, to the world outside of MP3, this duo is known as the only Ghost In The Machine.

The Haunting Begins… is the premier journey that comes complete with animated graphics on this enhanced CD to bring you into the electronic mind of our two artists. The body of work is a journey into the realms of surrealism, which crashes against the mental tide of the rational and irrational mind.

The Haunting Begins is the brief song that gave rise to the CD title. It weaves macabre sounds over bittersweet notes and ends with a gut wrenching scream to segue into the second track. On Everyone Is Dead the bass is pumped and the energy is highly kinetic. In some ways, this song highlights the parameters of our world where many folks have passed on before their time. Momentary lapses of ghostly female vocals sound as though they are rising to the heavens. Despite these solitary moments, we are repeatedly thrust into the harshness of being the sole survivors on a barren terrain.

Lies confronts the issues and people who have falsely manipulated situations in order to gain advantage over others. The chorus demonstrates a great harmony of vocals while the anger is translated through the music medium. Electric garners the ideology of man as machine. It seems as though this is also a song plucked from the future and sung by a thinking computer. Either way, it crosses the parameters that blur the edges between man and machine. Do You Believe questions the simple act of faith in a supreme being in all its many guises and religions. Rather than castigate for faith, the song questions where our faith is. We live in a world over run with televangelists and wolves in sheep's clothing but what is "our" personal belief system? How do we correlate the Omnipotent and divine from evil?

The Shepherd is a dark electronic song of sonic fury. We delve into a world of battered innocence and abuse that seems to perpetuate the negative emotions inflicted upon a younger generation. It seems as though today's shepherds are the evil mongers who will lead the flock astray and direct them to their own slaughter. Supergod takes a personal view of God in an agnostic way. All the problems of the world cannot be rectified with a magic wand. Despite the pain and destruction in the modern world, no heavenly hand reaches down to stop it. Faith for many has been relegated to bartering with God like a super-hero.

Death's Second Self relates to the mental abandon where we can lose ourselves through daydreams, sleep or mental breakdown. When the perplexing issues of the day have entwined and entrapped our mind beyond the rational borders, some find solace in the void of nothingness. Embrace remains one of the most seductive tracks that bumps and grinds like mental copulation. The depiction of a Kama Sutra style coupling is depicted where the two lovers are mentally and physically in synchronicity with each other. What Dreams Are Made Of takes us inside the artist's mind where the emotional surges of the high and lows are cultivated and explained. This track has a more commercial appeal with subtle R & B nuances married to modern electronics and it, too, is highly seductive.

Big Gimmick immediately plunges into dance grooves that are futuristic and pondering. Again, we have a image of depersonalization in an effort to gain a sense of selfhood due to the many deceitful factors that encompass ones life. Image N takes on a futurist Twilight Zone tone where the initial lyric lines are delivered in a voice over manner to introduce a paradigm shift in belief and life itself. It is indicative that the more one seeks to find answers, the more questions that arise. Suspicion amazingly zero's in on the emotional conflicts one experiences when a partner begins to send out invisible signals that something is wrong in a relationship. The development of the conflicting emotions couples with the physical strains these thoughts have on our physical well being, from panic attacks to churning stomachs.

GITM create the music that our subconscious sings to us. They delve into the id, the ego and the super ego to pluck the ripest thoughts and sounds to accompany the soundtrack to our lives. In essence, they have put their emotions on their sleeve and served it to us like a computerized brain running a self diagnostic test of itself. This is the sound of today's youth in all its ugliness and beauty. Part machine, part human, the limits of belief and mendacity are expounded in very club friendly music.

Another unique thing that sets this duo apart from the sea of many is their innate ability to fuse dark techno, modern rock, industrial, and progressive electronics into a very broad spectrum without missing a beat. They cite as their influences artists such as Prodigy, KMFDM, and the Chemical Bros., but one could easily contend that they have surpassed their influences in style, sound and quality simply because they probe thoughts and situations that their forebears have yet to tackle.

Unlike other electronic artists who rely solely on their keyboards and computers to sell them, GITM can actually sing and express a myriad of emotions as required by each song. The vocals do not require slick compression and other mix down wizardry to make them sound palatable for the masses. The fact of the matter is these guys CAN sing, unlike their competitors, which only stands to gain them many more fans as word of mouth spreads across the globe. When I initially received this demo for review, I had to guard it like a hawk simply because many friends wanted to borrow it until they purchased their own copy. This in itself indicates that GITM have their finger on the pulse beat of today's marketable sound technology and are ready to ride this wave to the top.

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