Canadian dance music pioneer Rennie Foster is back with his third full-length record, the followup to 2010's Blood Sugar. It's a relatively long one (12 songs across 80 minutes), and covers a lot of ground while maintaining a sense of continuity.
Game of 100 Ghosts illustrates Rennie Foster's eclectic appetite for music and culture. The title comes from a Japanese game of ghost-storytelling. The artwork was created by Abdul Qadim Haqq, who has been featured on classic Detroit techno releases from Derrick May and others.
"Consciousness Basics" features a sample of a Black Panther Party member inviting listeners to 'organize ourselves, raise our consciousness,' while "Childish Things" opens with a ceremonial trumpet flourish before the trumpeter takes a jazzier solo later on. "Do It Like Hip Hop" is livened up by guest MC and one-time Swollen Member Moka Only. "Lament Spécifique" and "Bansuri Coast" feature the bansuri (a wooden Indian flute).
To vacillate between all these elements could be dangerous for a less seasoned artist, but Rennie Foster has been at this for over a decade. One unifying factor is that almost all of the tempos are relatively close to 126 BPM, lending a trance-like smoothness to the whole record. Another is the clean, relaxed mixing throughout; every element is settled in its place and woven together with patience.
Patience is certainly an important trait for a listener here, too, but if you're looking for an aural adventure around an hour-and-a-half, this record might do the trick. (Independent)