The great thing about things coming together naturally, is that when they form the bond is effortless, and the result is something more than the sum of its parts. And so Matt Walker and the Lost Ragas arrive with their new album,Phantom Ride.
In 2012, Matt released a stunning record (In Echoes of Dawn) largely recorded, written, arranged, produced and played by himself. Every instrument, every breath, every idea formed over time in his own recording space – the 8 Track Shack. But once you have finished such a project, there are decisions to be made, shows to play, and the road to travel. It’s hard to do this alone. You need a band.
In some way shape or form, all of the Lost Ragas have worked with or around each other over the years, but never with the line-up as it is. Matt Walker – guitars / vocals Shane Reilly- pedal steel / guitars / vocals Roger Bergodaz – bass and Simon Burke – drums
Each member of the band offers a wealth of experience, and a taste for a song. This bent toward the song’s best interest may sound like a simple desire, but it’s not as common as you might think.
In Echoes of Dawn is such a gentle record, and as such, the early shows as the Lost Ragas we’re tentative, gentle affairs, but over time, the line-up injected new songs, and developed a sound that is familiar and yet totally on its own plane. A sparse, Baron Rhythm section approach, layered with captivating guitar textures, creating something that is delicate yet powerful, laid back and intense. The live shows have moments quiet enough to hear a pin drop, and powerful enough to drive a nail into the ground.
It grew into something much more than just some guys playing another guy’s record. That would have crashed and burned. Walker was brave enough to let everyone make it their own from the outset, and so they did. In Echoes of Dawn is, quite frankly, a record too beautiful to be recreated, and too involved to be copied. So the Lost Ragas didn’t walk that path.
They played shows, and they continued to develop the Lost Ragas’ sound. A sound that allows for the space within a song to be taken somewhere new each time. Leaving the path without losing the way perhaps.
At some point, talk of a new album came up. The band is filled with songwriters and producers, and guys not always playing their first instrument, so this was always going to be a process far removed from what Matt had just come from, and in fact having been a solo artist for so long, may have been a process never experienced before.
And so, Phantom Ride was born. Recorded over a number of sessions in mid-late 2013 at Tendertrap Studio with the steady hand of Bergodaz pushing the faders and the entire band providing a mixture of songs that were to go through ‘the Ragas’ and take on an entirely new form. This was no longer a solo experience for Walker.
“Phantom ride” refers to a genre of film made popular late in the 19th century where the directors would strap a camera on the front of a moving vehicle. The effect was to see everything moving in front of you, but no clear indication of what is propelling the images. The “phantom” is this invisible force.
It is an album put together by four people driven by songs. The premise was to keep the record simple, keep the takes as live as possible, minimize overdubs, and for each song to have a character of its own but to fit with the rest. When you have a song that can stand up on its own, it is surely the musicians’ purpose to stay out of the way, do only what is required and allow it to do what it will. I think if you asked any of the Lost Ragas, they would all say that that is one of the true pleasures of being in the band. No one is stepping on anyone else. Unless, of course, that is what’s required ….. the Phantom Ride.
Check here for the Cd Launch Info
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