Long time CZine writer Oli Saunders covered numerous John Argetsinger releases for us over the years, mostly under the guise of the Scarecrow Frequency. Oli has been in reviews retirement for a bit now so the responsiblity falls to me, I’m not complaining. John sent a tape copy of this release and I’ve got it rolling in my Denon DRM-400 with my trusty Grado SR80 ‘phones on. It has to be said that Bartering With Ghosts is music perfectly suited to tape. Fuzzed up, distorted, fading in and out, John’s characterful mumbling over lo-fi recordings and repetitious Duster style riffs, interspersed with the perfect samples. Mr Argetsinger knows exactly how he wants his music to sound like, and he absolutely delivers upon it here, in fact if you are listening to this on anything other than cassette tape it’s fair to say you aren’t getting the full experience. It’s not often these days that I get to feel the pure analogue joy of loading a cassette and pressing a button to make sounds happen, but this and a glass of Michter’s American Whiskey as the clock rolls towards midnight just hits a sweet spot for real. There are few people out there who want to sound like this in 2021, but I hope John and the few people like John keep on making the music they want to make for as long as they can. You’ll know if this is for you the instant you hear it. It’s definitely for me.