JOHN DUNCAN – Phantom Broadcast


At one point in an artist’s life there’s a sort of revelation, something telling him all the routes took so far have finally fused in a single course, lightened by a “north star” indicating all his next choices and moves. In John Duncan’s case, I feel his continuing exploration of frequencies’ manifestations has lately yielded a music that reaches a calm detachment, even when emotionally charged at its most. Now, what do I hear in the 47 minutes of “Phantom broadcast”? The answer is: powerful harmony (both in musical and “inner self” sense), shifting orchestral chordal streams, a stretching tubular bell sound, male and female voices, a trembling cello in the realm of low notes, a couple of jet engines during a slow transit towards somewhere I could not figure out, a pumping, massive breathing by all human beings remaining alive despite ongoing tragedies; all in all, I felt wrapped in sound and protected. Were all these things really there? Of course not, as this record was made with modestly treated shortwaves only – just like that, but it’s maybe one of the best, if not THE best among Duncan’s “static” releases. I’m afraid I’m forever trapped in your radio frequency, John – but please don’t show me the way out.


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