They Know What Ghost Know

In the electronic-music world, inserting humanity into the coldness of a kilowatt ether is a challenge. Without vocals, things get even trickier. Yet for Houston’s Joe Corrales Jr., who records under the name Yppah, personality is all a matter of knowing the right knobs to tweak. His debut, in 2006, had a lush, orchestrated beauty, but for They Know What Ghost Know (Ninja Tune), he clearly had something else in mind. Fat, melodic bass lines percolate above a pounding rock beat, and electric guitars add a swirling, My Bloody Valentine—like edge. Yppah assembled a touring band to perform his material between albums, and he’s coy as to whether they’re on this one, but the sound is of a rock group’s, albeit one that pushes lots of expensive instruments through cheesy nine-volt-battery phase shifters. Catchy and minimal at first, the din then increases, and soon the clattering is like that of a capsizing pallet in a sheet metal factory. Through it all, the beats never stop. Small wonder the producers of the CSI series and House have banged on Yppah’s door; his music may be inch-deep, but it’s seriously infectious.

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