Emerging on Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound imprint, London's Ghost Culture fits right in to the label's remit with a canny blend of analogue synthesis and indie songwriting worked to a decidedly contemporary conclusion. On "Mouth" the acidic bassline underpins the twee English vocals and machine-wrought squiggles and doodles to conjure up the perfect concoction of modern new wave balladry. For those unsure about the singing, the release also comes packed with a dub version, while "Red Smoke" provides a more club-centric cut full of brooding synth lines that wouldn't be out of place in a Border Community-related release.
Despite a relative dearth of releases, San Francisco's Group Rhoda (actually a solo project from singer and analog synth fetishist Mara) has already made waves, most notably with a curious remix of the Asphodells, and 2012 debut album Out of Time - Out of Touch. This sophomore set should increase the publicity-shy musician's standing considerably. Woozy, a little psyehcedelic, slightly tropical, extremely stylish and more often than not unconventionally beautiful, 12th House offers a sun-drenched take on coldwave and synthwave that's rarely less than thrilling. It frequently flits between warm and gorgeous ("Coral Castle"), and stargazing darkness ("Space Race"). Throughout, Mara remains an air of enigmatic distance.