Ghost’s Masaki Batoh creates new solo album with his mind

Japan’s experimental rock outfit Ghost (formed, incidentally, the same year Ghostbusters was released) is very patient with their music. Thus, a five-year gap between albums is nothing surprising; it’s been just about that long since 2007’s In Stormy Nights. The band’s mastermind Masaki Batoh is even more patient with his solo work, however, as it’s been some 16 years since his last effort. That’s finally set to change this year with a new album, Brain Pulse Music. And it’s a doozy.

Work on the album began before the March 11th, 2011 earthquake that devastated Japan and severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. After a forced evacuation, Batoh returned to Tokyo (his family remained evacuated) and recommenced his work on the album and in his acupuncture clinic. Noticing his clients’ “mental instability and anxiety following the disaster,” the concept of his new album turned its focus to trying to “reconcile the spirit and the body,” according to a press release.

What makes this project even more fascinating is the new technological instrument Batoh commissioned for the project. Now, you play the theremin without touching it, which is cool, but Batoh’s Brain Pulse Music Machine, developed by MKC Inc., is played with your freakin’ mind. Check this: The performer of the BPM Machine wears a special headgear connected to a motherboard. The headgear picks up brain waves from the parietal and frontal lobes, sending them as radio waves to the motherboard. There, the radio waves are converted into wave pulses, which then yield sound.

Essentially, “the second-by-second reflection of our mental state renders itself as sound and we hear it instantaneously.” The BPM Machine is an instrument controlled by emotional output, making it the perfect tool for Batoh’s goal to “aid the anxieties of those all around him” and blend, body, soul, and music. With the help of instruments of “ritual calming and healing”, like wind pipes, gongs, and wood blocks, Batoh used the BPM to craft Brain Pulse Music, a seven-track collection of highly original songs.

Brain Pulse Music will be released on February 28th via Drag City. Fittingly, all proceeds will go to benefit Red Cross Japan and victims of the earthquake. You can preview the sound, both of the album and the machine, in the promo video underneath the tracklist.

Brain Pulse Music Tracklist:
01. Kumano Codex 1
02. Eye Tracking Test
03. Kumano Codex 2
04. Kumano Codex 3
05. Kumano Codex 4
06. Kumano Codex 5
07. Aiki no Okami

Brain Pulse Music Promotional Video


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