Sketches and Spells Re-issue

Sketches and Spells by The Focus Group is out now on CD, Downloads and Streams. The Vinyl re-issue has been delayed and we hope it will be available by the end of the year.

The Focus Group is the recording alias for Ghost Box co-founder and well respected graphic designer and film maker Julian House. This debut album was first release in 2005 on a burn to order CD-R. Now packaged in a 4 panel digipack with the original sleeve art by Julian House that established the rules for the primary Ghost Box artwork layout.  It’s a design grid that the label has continuolsy revisted and tinkered with ever since. The vinyl LP will follow next month.

“…it often sounds like hip hop if it had been invented in England in the late fifties. House turns library muisc’s ‘science of mood’ againast itself by creating barely calssifiable emotions (macabre whimsy, pensive rapture, ‘reverie and efficiency’) or making atmospheres clash and mingle like colours on a paint wheel going muddy.”
Simon Reynolds,

“Intimately acquainted with this uncertain hinterland between yesterday and tomorrow, The Focus Group are also smart enough to realise that anyone can pass for modern if they still listen to Pierre Henry, Tom Dissevelt, Jacques Loussier or Dave Brubeck.”
Ken Hollings,
The Wire

“…evokes powerful intimations of the uncanny.”
Rob Young,
Uncut Magazine

“…the spirit of a certain experimental, baroque psychedelia is alive in every one of these tunes.”
Benjamin Graves,
The Quietus

“Great music, all quite unpredictable, painstakingly knitted together. Lots of peculiar noises all making a very lovely sound,”
Jonny Trunk,
Trunk Records Website

“…this is an archaeology of emotion, a philosophically motivated exploration of the power of not just one’s childhood memories, but of the collective unconscious.”
Matthew Ingram,
The Wire

“Song-by-song, and often within the tracks themselves, Julian House’s The Focus Group juxtapose the comforting and the anxiety-inducing, creating constant slippage. Perhaps it’s no accident that House gave his outfit such a name:
Jason Draper
Record Collector

“The Focus Group’s music feels ‘alive’. Or, more accurately, ‘undead’.”
Simon Reynolds,
Frieze Magazine


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