Recording information: Comet, LA; The House Of Yin.
Photographers: Michael Cina; Matthew Desmond.
During the prolonged period that separated the release dates of Adrian Michna's first and second Ghostly albums, the producer remixed tracks by Matthew Dear and Oberman Knocks, contributed to compilations -- like Ghostly's soundtrack for the video game Hohokum -- and knocked out a four-track EP. Going by the stark difference between Michael Cina's design for this album and FriendsWithYou's fantasy-land look for 2008's Magic Monday, attentive Michna fans might anticipate a more pronounced shift to a darker sound like that of the grinding 2012 EP track "Titanium Glaciers." Track one, "Cherry 2000" -- presumably named after the 1987 science fiction film -- swiftly nullifies that notion with horns and handclaps before it settles into a bounding synth pop/Italo-disco groove. While a couple tunes, like the slightly alien "Solid Gold" (with dispassionate but sweet vocals from MNDR) and tense finale "Death Pits of Rath," aren't exactly chipper, Michna opts to continue with charming productions that deal out an array of melodies that range from ethereal to immediate. The producer is at his best on "Increasing Ambition," when he plays between the extremes with thick synthesizers and driving drums that evoke a contemporized collaboration between Martin Rushent and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. ~ Andy Kellman