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«The Ghost and The Machine» (TGATM) as the voice of the burgeoning Dark Academia scene

Andreas Lechner, TGATM mastermind, establishes «dark academia pop» with his poetic lyrics, unique resonator guitar style and artistically inspiring content

After the two single releases and double feature as music tip on the Austrian TV station "Puls 4 Austria" "Way To Blue" (February 2021) and "20 Miles High" (June 2021), Andreas Lechner's new albums "Alice In Contraland, Part I & II" are in the starting blocks (release date: October 29, 2021/Fullmax Recordings). This marks the beginning of a new, exciting era for "The Ghost and The Machine" as a solo project with a new vision and stylistic direction: "Dark Academia Pop". "For me, it feels like arriving in the right genre after a long creative and laborious process," says Lechner.

Dark Academia Pop

The Dark Academia scene provides the space for linking the introverted but soulful intellectuals who, despite their love of heavy books, ancient art and architecture, want to fit in and participate in today's colorful and interconnected world. A romantic recollection of profound perception and, despite a fast-moving world, a desire for long-term thought processes and insights. A connection that is inherent in Vienna as an often romanticized but modern cultural capital in its inhabitants and also in "The Ghost And The Machine". "Alice in Contraland, Part I & Part II" are meant to function as two different ways of looking at themes such as loneliness, a romantic and artistic view on life, high expectations, the wrong love and the longing for something unique.

Both albums manifest themselves in their musical elaboration as two sides of the coin. They allude to the ambivalences of our challenging Covid times, (audio)-visually and in terms of content to the Dark Academia scene, but also as everyone in Covid times, feel understood in their inner contradictions and contrasts. A challenging development as a society, as well as a young person in search of a place in the world. In doing so, the unique sound of the old resonator guitars (as well as banjo and chumbush) comes to the fore and one can experience the songs in their originality, offering a soothing deceleration in challenging times like these. These are the very songs that will appear as the out-produced pop counterpart on Part I: The appealing thing about this songwriting process is to embed the archaic guitar sounds in a totally modern sound tapestry in the process of songwriting and to combine it with the sophisticated lyrics. This process releases several synergies: one can experience and compare the songs in two very different subjects.

About the genesis of the project "The Ghost And The Machine"

"The Ghost And The Machine" was founded in 2013 by Andreas Lechner as a solo project. The intention for Lechner was to combine his literary passions and ambitions with his main discipline music. At that time he finished his jazz guitar studies with jazz legend Karl Ratzer and was looking for his own introverted musical voice. He finally found it in the combination of meticulously crafted tunings on vintage resonator guitars from the 1930s and the purposeful use of his falsetto voice.

Exemplary for this is his US California Tour 2019, where Andreas Lechner as "The Ghost And The Machine" mastermind caused storms of enthusiasm among the audience from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Videos of this tour, created by fans, impressively underpin the unique signature and the aforementioned combination of special guitar tuning and vocals that alternate between falsetto and tenor.

Die Erweiterung zum Trio

Already in 2016 the project was expanded by double bass and drums. Dresden drummer Matthias Macht (who toured for many years with American singer & songwriter Chris Whitley, among others) provided the unique and rhythmic sound carpet on the self-titled debut album "The Ghost And The Machine" (Lili Records).

In the same formation the second album "Red Rain Tires" (Noise Appeal Records) was released in 2018, where the "Kleine Zeitung" already anticipated the Dark Academia description and titled: "Fine sounds from the past".

«But what The Ghost and the Machine deliver on 'Red Rain Tires' is tangible earthiness and a clearly defined sound. And thematically, a fierce headwind blows in the face of the lover of oversophisticated commonplace monologues in the form of folk songs here. The images on the record are clear and distinct, it's about butterflies and dust, scars and the wrecks of innocence.»

skug Musikmagazin About the seconD «The Ghost and the machine»-Album «RED RAIN TIRES», 2018.

Latest single "20 Miles High"

"20 Miles High" is the new single by Vienna-based songwriter "The Ghost And The Machine" and is a collaboration with Viennese pop/electronic producer Daniel Pepl a.k.a "fullmax". The song describes the feeling of a painfully longed for new beginning that finally starts and lets us float above the ground in its intensity - 20 miles high. Referring both to COVID-19, lockdowns and the accompanying mental and social loneliness after long isolation, and the general challenges and joys of a new beginning - here especially that of a new love, "20 Miles High" is a paean to human relationships and closeness. It is the song that makes us float through this summer, in love with the contact we have found with each other again, emotionally as well as physically. Page 2This succeeds not least through the use of exotic metal resonator guitars from the 30s, which together with the reduced electronic beats of "fullmax" weave into an unprecedented sound tapestry. The poetic, word-painting vocals are occasionally enriched with vocoder effects and sometimes come across stoically à la Lou Reed, sometimes in that snarling falsetto that one knows all too well from soul recordings from the 60s. "I've long wanted to make a song about new beginnings, how painful they are and at the same time how much we need them, especially now. And at the same time a paean to human relationships, to physical contact not as something inappropriate, but as an essential part of our existence," says Andi Lechner, the civil name of «The Ghost And The Machine» - mastermind.

«Yearning for each other's presence in every way is the sensibility we need for this new start.»

Andreas Lechner, «The Ghost and The Machine»-MASTERMIND


In derselben Formation erschien 2018 das zweite Album "Red Rain Tires" (Noise Appeal Records), bei dem die "Kleine Zeitung" schon die Dark Academia-Beschreibung vorwegnahm und titelte: "Feine Klänge aus der Vergangenheit".

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