Ghost Against Ghost is a project that has been enchanting me for the past months. The music, created by Christopher Bono, is something that I just can’t seem to get my head around. It is so magnificent, so cathartic – while at the same time, sophisticated and elaborate. After coming out with two EPs, Unarm and Still Love, Bono presents us with a video for his single Checkpoint Charlie.
The video is accompanied by a remix of Checkpoint Charlie, a song released in late 2015. Together with audio engineer and film score mixer Satoshi Noguchi (Hans Zimmer, Explosions in the Sky, Daft Punk), Christopher Bono created a slightly subdued version of the song, which serves more as a support to the movie rather than taking centre stage like in a lot of music videos.
When I first shared this video via social media it garnered quite some attention, and before I could turn around, a friend of mine messaged me about it. “This music is so weird!! Ghost Against Ghost! It drives me crazy when I continue to listen to it!! It goes deep into the mind!” It was a genuine reaction. The music that Christopher Bono creates is mind-blowing. At its climax it’s a religious experience of a weeping god.
Just like the original Checkpoint Charlie song (not the remix!), the Still Love EP will be part of a larger, two-hour long “Dark-Romantic conceptual album” called Oia, which will slowly be revealed through the release of more EPs. In comparison with Checkpoint Charlie, Still Love is a more elaborate piece where the individual songs are actually arranged like a suite. Both the opening track and the closing track are the respective intro and outro to the title track, which spans the biggest part of the 17-minute long record.
The Unarm EP however is more focused and consists of two separate songs, Your Secret Ocean and the title track, Unarm. This EP shows Bono coming into his Ghost Against Ghost aesthetic. Your Secret Ocean has the big synthesisers and noisy passages that prevail on Checkpoint Charlie and the songs surrounding Still Love, but not the catchy parts that mark the title track. Later releases of Ghost Against Ghost merge these two features into a coherent characteristic, which gives the project its innate greatness.
Oia is set to be released either late this year or early 2017. In the mean time, you can listen to Christopher Bono’s latest single, Resume, which is my favourite out of all his works.