A collective of psychedelic-minded Japanese musicians headed by guitarist Masaki Batoh, Ghost records commune-minded free-range psychedelia with equal debts to the Can/Amon Düül axis of Krautrock, as well as West Coast psych units like Blue Cheer and Jefferson Airplane. Batoh grew up in Kyoto, where he attended a private school well-geared to spark his interest in rock music, from Dylan and Pink Floyd to the Velvet Underground. Later, he formed Ghost with a large and varying lineup, centered around contributors such as Michio Kurihara, Kazuo Ogino, and Taishi Takizawa. According to reports, the group lived a nomadic existence, drifting from ruins of ancient temples to disused subway stations around the Tokyo area.
The band began releasing their work with the albums Ghost and Second Time Around, each appearing during 1991-1992. The American independent Drag City licensed each of the albums for distribution, and L.A.'s The Now Sound picked up two of Batoh's solo albums, A Ghost from the Darkened Sea and Kikaokubeshi (released together as well under the title Collected Works). Two more Ghost titles, Tune in, Turn on, Free Tibet and Snuffbox Immanence, were released simultaneously in 1999. A year later, the group teamed with kindred spirits Damon and Naomi for Damon and Naomi with Ghost. The ambitious 2004 album Hypnotic Underworld was followed by the archival 2005 release Metamorphosis: Ghost Chronicles 1984-2004. A new studio album, In Stormy Nights, and a live album, Overture, both landed in 2007. ~ John Bush