Ghostly: Latest Releases
Check in here to find the latest from Ghostly & Spectral Sound.
38 Songs, 2 hours, 51 minutes
More By Ghostly International
Featured artists, julie byrne, laugh cry laugh, christopher willits, kate bollinger, mary lattimore, walt mcclements, select a country or region, africa, middle east, and india.
- Côte d’Ivoire
- Congo, The Democratic Republic Of The
- Niger (English)
- Congo, Republic of
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- Tanzania, United Republic Of
- United Arab Emirates
- Indonesia (English)
- Lao People's Democratic Republic
- Malaysia (English)
- Micronesia, Federated States of
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Solomon Islands
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- France (Français)
- Luxembourg (English)
- Moldova, Republic Of
- North Macedonia
- Portugal (Português)
- Türkiye (English)
- United Kingdom
Latin America and the Caribbean
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Argentina (Español)
- Bolivia (Español)
- Virgin Islands, British
- Cayman Islands
- Chile (Español)
- Colombia (Español)
- Costa Rica (Español)
- República Dominicana
- Ecuador (Español)
- El Salvador (Español)
- Guatemala (Español)
- Honduras (Español)
- Nicaragua (Español)
- Paraguay (Español)
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- St. Vincent and The Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos
- Uruguay (English)
- Venezuela (Español)
The United States and Canada
- Canada (English)
- Canada (Français)
- United States
- Estados Unidos (Español México)
- الولايات المتحدة
- États-Unis (Français France)
- Estados Unidos (Português Brasil)
- 美國 (繁體中文台灣)
- Beatport Studio
- Add Streaming
- Account Settings
- My Subscriptions
- 0 Shopping Carts
Tunnels (East Forest Remix)
Goodbye, Hotel Arkada
Mary Lattimore , Meg Baird , Walt McClements , Lol Tolhurst , Roy Montgomery , Samara Lubelski , Rachel Goswell
Lusine , Vilja Larjosto , Sarah Jaffe , Asy Saavedra , Benoit Pioulard
Does It Look Like I'm Here? (Expanded Remaster )
Lusine , Sarah Jaffe
Helios , Hollie Kenniff
Zero to Sixty
I Neva Seen Remix
Angelo (Space Ghost Remix )
Space Ghost , Brijean
Take A Trip (Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith Remix)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith , Brijean
Let's Turn It Into Sound Remixes
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith , Brijean , johan lenox , Hrishikesh Hirway
Khotin , Tess Roby
Invisible Hand / Awake
Have You Felt Lately? (Brijean Remix)
Galactic Melt (10th Anniversary Edition)
The Truth (Ron Trent Remix)
Ron Trent , Fort Romeau
Whatever The Weather
Walls To Build Remix
The Long and Short of It
Persuasion System (Anastasia Kristensen Remixes)
Top Ten Tracks
Walls To Build Mall Grab Remix
Angelo Space Ghost Remix
Dog Days Original Mix
Put On Original Mix
Untitled IV Original Mix
Epoch Luttrell Remix
Kolido Original Mix
Ramona Original Mix
I Neva Seen Original Mix
I Neva Seen Willow Remix
- About Beatport
- Customer Support
- Logos And Images
- Terms and Conditions
- Report Copyright Infringement
- ampsuite Distribution
- Beatport DJ
- Beatport Hype
- Beatport for Labels
- Beatport Next
- Beatport Streaming
- Plugin Boutique
- listening party
- existing artist
- artists PRO view site
- edit profile
- subscription subscription
- view collection
- showLinkedBands(!showLinkedBands())" data-test="linked-accounts-header">
- See all results
No matching results
Try a different filter or a new search keyword.
Search all Bandcamp artists, tracks, and albums
As they roll closer to two full decades of releasing music, Ghostly International’s momentum and consistency remain something extraordinary. Though the label has expanded massively since it was founded by Sam Valenti IV in 1999, in some ways, very little has changed. Valenti began the label with Matthew Dear after the pair met at a party, shortly after Valenti had moved to Ann Arbor to attend the University of Michigan. It was initially conceived as a small open-ended project; there was no huge mission statement, just a platform to sell music alongside clothing and a magazine—they’ve since expanded into art prints and rather nice stationery. The label consciously evaded genre, with “avant-pop” the closest Valenti will come to an umbrella term. But from the beginning, there were elements that would recur again and again throughout the catalog: hip-hop rooted in Detroit’s own abstract-meets-street sounds epitomized by J Dilla; timeless electro/techno/disco for the dancefloor; and an indie rock sense of introspection and songcraft.
Now, Valenti suggests, it feels a bit like the world has caught up with them. “[Being] fluid in genre and style…has naturally dovetailed with the movement of culture in general. There is an everything-is-everything approach to music and art now which is exciting.” He’s unfazed by the rise of mega-spectacle EDM in the interim, though it has dramatically changed the landscape for electronic music in the USA. “When we started,” he says, “the world of electronic was very much isolated from the rest of independent music, at least in a live setting in America. That has sort of bled together. People don’t think of genre as much as they used to, which is great by me. I think we’ll always be something other than what’s happening on the main stage, which is an OK place to be.”
There’s continuity, too, in the label’s core musicians. Dear, who made Ghostly’s first 12-inch, continues to record for them, as do many early mainstays like Tadd Mullinix (aka Charles Manier, Dabrye, James T. Cotton) and Todd Osborn, from Ann Arbor and Detroit respectively. Valenti doesn’t like to romanticize the continuity, though. “The idea that a label is a family is a nice concept,” he says, “but a bit of a conceit. I think the glue is in a common ideology and sharing of sound and approach. This year will see music from artists such as Mary Lattimore, Starchild & The New Romantic, and Dabrye which, taken together, represent a wide array of music. It isn’t about trying to have different genres, it’s more a development of our own tastes over time.”
As the following releases show, all from within the last year or so, that expansion has born many fruit. But for all their diversity, they fit together beautifully; Valenti’s “avant-pop” vision seems clearer than ever.
The return of Tadd Mullinix’s Dabrye alias for the Three/Three has probably been the biggest recent Ghostly news. His albums are sporadic to say the least, and intensely loved by fans, plus to have Ghostface, Danny Brown, Doom and Guilty Simpson on your record, all on devilishly good form, is not a bad look. This is independent hip-hop at its most unapologetic and toughest, and is worth the price of entry for Doom in full angry-old-man mode holding forth at the mumble-rap generation in “Lil Mufukuz”. But just as exciting for Dabrye lovers are the reissues of two instrumental albums: One/Three , which begun the finally-completed trilogy and helped cement Ghostly’s reputation back in 2001, and 2002’s Instrmntl , formerly on Eastern Developments and now not cheap second-hand. Both of these still stand as huge influences on the modern experimental beat scene, and glorious achievements in their own right.
Shigeto The New Monday
Zachary “Shigeto” Saginaw is, relatively speaking, a new generation producer—he joined Ghostly in 2010—but he couldn’t be more representative of the label’s identity. Born in Ann Arbor, and—via stints in NYC and London—now a resident in Detroit, his music has all the hip-hop swagger, all the electronic gloss, all the emotional sensitivity of anything on the label. His album as ZGTO with rapper ZelooperZ from Danny Brown’s Bruiser Brigade is itself one of the last year’s best, taking the narcotic levitation of much of today’s populist rap to whole new dimensions. Only months later came his latest solo album, The New Monday , which joins significant dots in Saginaw’s life: it connects the jazz he’s played from his childhood to the rich club music vibes of his adopted hometown Detroit. It pays unabashed tribute to Moodymann and Theo Parrish, while constantly pushing sounds into new spaces at every turn.
Matthew Dear “ Bad Ones ” (feat. Tegan and Sara)
Matthew Dear hasn’t put an album out since 2012’s Beams , but he remains a hugely respected figure in the global techno community, as the excitement around his 2016 DJ-Kicks mix album proved. His pair of 2017 singles show that he’s continuing to develop as a musician. The first, “Modafinil Blues,” with Dear on vocals, continues in the gothic vein of many of his album tracks, albeit with a pop spring in its step. “Bad Ones” takes that pop urge several steps further. It’s not the first time he’s collaborated with Tegan and Sara, and hopefully it won’t be the last, because they cook up a whole new version of what a dance-pop record can be. It’s a long way from the overcooked intensities of EDM, but still sounds immense.
Avalon Emerson Narcissus in Retrograde
Ghostly has always made sure to stay close to the heart of the dancefloor, and it’s absolutely correct that they should have a release from Arizona producer Avalon Emerson in their catalog. She is fast rising through the global DJ ranks, but her production is just as important, and this EP showcases her range. From the sci-fi movie brass-section climax of lead track “Natural Impasse,” through the Underground Resistance electro of “Dystopian Daddy,” to the dark-bunker techno intensity of “Why Does it Hurt,” and the breathtakingly dense funkiness of “Groundwater,” every track combines complex structural twists and turns with instant sonic impact that makes each beat and tone feel like hearing techno for the first time.
Black Marble It’s Immaterial
This is about as indie as Ghostly gets. Lo-fi in aesthetic and laced with the more sensitive post-punk of early Cure, New Order, and Psychedelic Furs, Black Marble seem a far cry from the electronic gloss and hip-hop swagger that defines most of the label’s roster. And yet, and yet, there’s a craft and poise to the songwriting that fits right in, and though the production doesn’t have conspicuous digital signifiers, it too has the thoughtfulness of the rest of Ghostly’s output. And just occasionally, if you imagine a more booming kick and rising tide of techno chords, you realize Chris Stewart’s songwriting and vocal inflections aren’t actually a million miles from Matthew Dear’s.
Com Truise Iteration
Seth Haley from Princeton NJ, as Com Truise, utilizes a number of tropes—in particular ‘70s/’80s sci-fi soundtrack and video aesthetics—that are so ubiquitous now that they ought to just sound hoary. But he’s built a huge success from what he does with very good reason: his compositions, structures, and production all bear evidence to the serious love and attention that’s been paid to them, giving every track an impact beyond mere nostalgic reference-point nods. Six years on from his debut Galactic Melt , Haley has only honed his craft, and Iteration is a properly transporting spaceflight dream. Yes, you can hear Vangelis, Tron , Tangerine Dream, and all the rest woven through its fabric, but it builds whole, new, and glorious structures out of their DNA.
If you really want a sense of what Ghostly is today, try playing this side by side with the Com Truise and Shigeto albums. While this is essentially post-rock, and the songs are built around dramatic synth electro and jazz-house, somehow they are all in tune with one another. They are huge and cinematic in scope, but with a focused emotional heart and not a nanosecond of sound misplaced. To put it very crudely, Tycho’s third album sounds like Radiohead becoming the space-rock band they’ve always secretly wanted to be, the band’s virtuosity put into the service of immediate sensual pleasure and the conjuring of broad psychedelic vistas for the listener to fly through, without ever settling into jam-band tedium.
Lord RAJA Amadeus EP
NYC producer Lord RAJA is known most for hip-hop beats, and that’s certainly the heart of this record. But he’s also expanded in all directions: uptempo and onto the dancefloor for the energized electro of “O.K.,” into opiated, grime-influenced house for “Barrel,” and deep underwater for the ambient bubble of “Picasso.” All of these seven concise tracks (and one bonus epic in the eight-minute “Fox Den”) are very much of the now, but their melding of influences and their precision of execution make them absolutely of a part with Ghostly’s catalog, too.
There’s a strand of Anglophilia, and a particular love of British bass genres, running through Texas-via-Seattle producer Jeff McIlwain’s work. There’s the U.K. garage swing of “Won’t Forget,” the Burial-like fidget of “Witness,” and undercurrents of trip-hop and jungle running through many of the tracks. But as is the Ghostly way, that one thread doesn’t define things: there’s also rich synth-pop gloss, a little shoegaze fuzz, some highly finessed glitchy production trickery, and most crucially of all, real songwriting craft whether on the instrumental tracks or those featuring vocals from Vilja Larjosto, Benoît Pioulard, or McIlwaine’s wife Sarah.
Starchild & The New Romantic Language
Always looking forward, always ready to adopt the new, Ghostly’s next big release is the first album from Bryndon Cook, aka Starchild And The New Romantic . In principle, his approach is simple: the huge structures of ‘80s soul and pop, as defined by likes of Jam & Lewis, Prince, and Michael and Janet Jackson, are intermeshed with a nervy singer-songwriter aesthetic. In practice, this is just a jumping-off point for the expression of a very individualist musician, whose ability to approach the challenge of big pop songs with huge subtlety creates spaces for his own personality. It’s far removed from Dabrye or Com Truise in a lot of ways, but, once again, that attention to both the grand scale and the minutiae, groove and songcraft, place Cook very naturally within the label’s remit. After all, his motto “my sensitivity is my strength” could very well be an explanation of Ghostly’s enduring resilience.
Pop Read more in Pop →
Latest see all stories
On Bandcamp Radio see all
- copyright policy
- switch to mobile view
- Date est. 1999
- Location United States of America
- Links Facebook · Twitter · Website · Discogs
- Followers 2.4K
- Follow Follow
- Ghostly International is a music and art company supporting work of high quality, integrity, and individuality. ""Transcending its record label roots to sell an ethos," says The New York Times, Ghostly International has grown from a boutique known for its experimental-pop and techno acumen into an internationally recognized multicultural platform representing some of the world’s best visual artists, designers, technologists, and musicians. Artists include Matthew Dear, Kllo, Mary Lattimore, Tadd Mullinix (Dabrye, JTC), Starchild & The New Romantic, Tycho, and more. What does Ghostly sound like? “Genre-less” was a term thrown around in the early days and that idea still holds true. Ghostly’s music — as with all of its artistic pursuits — straddles stylistic divisions, carving out space where sounds and ideas can cavort without inhibition or category. The label itself is twofold. Ghostly International’s output follows a wayward path: nominally, music of electronic means, experimental methods, and pop methodology, but encompassing much more. Sibling label Spectral Sound centers on the Midwestern American Dance Sound: house, techno, electro, and related music. The imprint has played a role in the launch of such artists as Audion, Seth Troxler, Hieroglyphic Being, Avalon Emerson, Patricia, Kate Simko, and more.
Mary Lattimore - Goodbye, Hotel Arkada
Khotin - release spirit, kaitlyn aurelia smith - let's turn it into sound, whatever the weather - whatever the weather, whatever the weather - 17°c, fort romeau - beings of light, fort romeau - spotlights, mary lattimore - collected pieces ii, matthew dear - preacher's sigh & potion: lost album, galcher lustwerk - proof, galcher lustwerk - speed (acemoma remix), kaitlyn aurelia smith - the mosaic of transformation, recondite - dwell, galcher lustwerk - information, telefon tel aviv - dreams are not enough, htrk - venus in leo, com truise - existence schematic, dabrye - nova, mary lattimore - never saw him again, htrk - dying of jealousy, the sight below - life's fading light, ouri - we share our blood, shigeto - detroit pt. ii feat. marcus elliot, ouri - escape, helios - even today, steve hauschildt - dissolvi, steve hauschildt - m path, htrk - more to enjoy, x-altera - x-altera, htrk - drama, htrk - mentions, x-altera - compound extraprotus, heathered pearls - under the bridge, x-altera - check out the bass, mary lattimore - it feels like floating, dabrye - three/three, heathered pearls - the packard plant, shigeto - don't trip feat. silas green, matthew dear - bad ones feat. tegan and sara, shigeto - detroit part ii, matthew dear - modafinil blues, jacaszek - kwiaty, moiré - no future, logan takahashi - cella, telefon tel aviv - reak what (archive '99), recondite - corvus, tycho - division, kllo - walls to build, xeno & oaklander - topiary, logan takahashi - nogeo, beacon - escapements, shigeto - intermission ep, heathered pearls - body complex, matrixxman - homesick, various - ghostly swim 2, fort romeau - insides, beacon - l1 ep, lord raja - a constant moth, tycho - awake, htrk - psychic 9-5 club, recondite - hinterland, shigeto - no better time than now, dauwd - heat division, lusine - the waiting room, matthew dear - beams, michna - moving mountains, matthew dear - her fantasy, mux mool - planet high school, shigeto - lineage, matthew dear - headcage ep, jacaszek - glimmer, tycho - dive, com truise - galactic melt, shigeto - full circle remixes, various artists - smm: context, shigeto - full circle, gold panda - lucky shiner, matthew dear - little people (black city), pale sketcher - jesu: pale sketches demixed, matthew dear - black city, gold panda - you ep, solvent - subject to shift, terry riley - in c, osborne - the ghostly remixes, mux mool - skulltaste, lusine - a certain distance, kate simko - music from the atom smashers, the sight below - glider, matthew dear - don & sherri, cepia - natura morta, matthew dear - asa breed, matthew dear – deserter, lusine - podgelism: select remixes, lusine - emerald ep.
- AceMo Follow Follow
- Aeroc Follow Follow
- Alexi Delano Follow Follow
- Anastasia Kristensen Follow Follow
- Audion Follow Follow
- Baltra Follow Follow
- Celer Follow Follow
- Cepia Follow Follow
- Christopher Willits Follow Follow
- Clark Warner Follow Follow
- Com Truise Follow Follow
- DJ Clea Follow Follow
- Daniel Wang Follow Follow
- Dauwd Follow Follow
- Fort Romeau Follow Follow
- Galcher Lustwerk Follow Follow
- Glitterbug Follow Follow
- Gold Panda Follow Follow
- Grand River Follow Follow
- HTRK Follow Follow
- Hanssen Follow Follow
- Heathered Pearls Follow Follow
- Indian Wells Follow Follow
- Interval Follow Follow
- Justin Broadrick Follow Follow
- Jörn Elling Wuttke Follow Follow
- Kate Simko Follow Follow
- Kero Follow Follow
- Kevin_K Follow Follow
- Khotin Follow Follow
- Kim Ann Foxman Follow Follow
- Kllo Follow Follow
- Lawrence Follow Follow
- Light Year Follow Follow
- Logan Takahashi Follow Follow
- Loraine James Follow Follow
- Lowfish Follow Follow
- Lusine Follow Follow
- Luttrell Follow Follow
- M.A.N.D.Y. Follow Follow
- Matrixxman Follow Follow
- Matthew Dear Follow Follow
- Michna Follow Follow
- Miguel Senquiz Follow Follow
- Milosh Follow Follow
- Mux Mool Follow Follow
- Nautiluss Follow Follow
- Newborn Jr. Follow Follow
- Nigil Caenaan Follow Follow
- Orphx Follow Follow
- Outputmessage Follow Follow
- Pale Sketcher Follow Follow
- Pascäal Follow Follow
- Patricia Follow Follow
- Phantogram Follow Follow
- Recondite Follow Follow
- Rezident Follow Follow
- Rick Wade Follow Follow
- Ryuichi Sakamoto Follow Follow
- SanFacon Follow Follow
- Sascha Dive Follow Follow
- Scott Brandon (2) Follow Follow
- Scotty Brandon Follow Follow
- Shigeto Follow Follow
- Soela Follow Follow
- Solvent Follow Follow
- Somniac One Follow Follow
- Sophia Saze Follow Follow
- Star Eyes Follow Follow
- Steve Hauschildt Follow Follow
- Terry Riley Follow Follow
- The Sight Below Follow Follow
- Todd Osborn Follow Follow
- Tom VR Follow Follow
- Tropic Of Cancer Follow Follow
- Tycho Follow Follow
- Vin Sol Follow Follow
- ZDBT Follow Follow
- gum.mp3 Follow Follow
- London Language English
- Privacy · Terms · Cookies · Sitemap
- RA Podcast ̸
- Mix of the day ̸
- RA Exchange ̸
- Search Search for:
Fort Romeau announces new album on Ghostly International
British producer Michael Greene aka Fort Romeau announces his forthcoming album ‘Beings of Light’, due for release on 11th February 2022 via Ghostly International. To celebrate the announcement, Fort Romeau has shared a new track from the album called ‘Spotlights’.
‘Spotlights’ is Greene’s ode to the romanticized New York City that lives in our hearts, nocturnal and carefree. It’s a propulsive standout from his forthcoming album, characterised by a vocal snippet that repeats the title with a breezy poise, reminiscent of classic house cuts. Today’s track follows last month’s single ‘Ramona’, a dreamlike minimal house cut that honoured the beloved Robert Johnson club in Offenbach, Germany. Hazy, spacious, and sustained, Greene designed the beat with their system in mind, “also with a strong nod to the more modern lineage of exceptional minimal house music from Frankfurt,” he says.
After a run of critically-acclaimed singles and EPs, Fort Romeau returns to the full-length format with Beings of Light, the long-awaited follow-up to 2015’s Insides and his second LP on Ghostly International. While a prolific DJ who orients many of his productions for the dancefloor, Greene still sees the album as the ultimate statement of intent, “a space to stretch out, to speak in full paragraphs rather than stunted sentences.” He has explored several stylistic fragments in recent years (including the summer 2018 anthem “Pablo,” hailed a Best New Track by Pitchfork), but when faced with the extended pause to the dance community in 2020, Greene felt compelled to focus on a larger body of work. Embracing a back-to-basics mentality, he amassed over a dozen hours of sounds, asking himself throughout the sessions: “Does the music move you? Is it honest?” He came out the other end with Beings of Light, an expressive collection traversing rainy day ambient, moonlit disco, and dream-like techno in pursuit of the power found within our subconscious.
Like previous Fort Romeau records, Greene’s foundational inspiration for Beings of Light is imagery. Specifically, a work by Steven Arnold, a Dalí protégé known for constructing otherworldly, tableau vivant set designs from found objects until his death in 1994 amid the AIDS crisis. Arnold’s 1984 photograph Power of Grace (featured as the album art and lending a title to one of its tracks) spoke to Greene immediately: “It’s transcendent in the most potent and direct manner, imagination untethered by material, elegance without riches. For me, it represents, among other things, radical class politics. Imagination always wins over resource.” The visual, as well as the surrealist idea that dreams allow us to create a better reality, led Greene to shape his most ambitious and complete record to date, a love letter to dance music coded with a message of hope. The album title comes from his belief that people can facilitate change by first imagining the way we want things to be, and not letting cynicism block that light.
As an integral artist on the Ghostly International roster, Fort Romeau has released a cluster of records on the influential label; most notably his 2015 sophomore LP Insides. The critically-acclaimed album was inspired by an eclectic mixture of house, kraut, ambient and techno, and demonstrated development of Greene’s unique interpretation of dance floor music. In the years since its release, the composer, producer and DJ has focused his energy in several directions: he has performed all over the world at some of Europe’s most illustrious club spaces and dedicated time to producing standout remixes for the likes of Jacques Greene, Ela Minus, Alt-J, Gold Panda and many more. 2015 also saw him set up his own label ‘Cin Cin’, releasing split EPs from established names and newcomers alike, with a diverse musical policy that reflects the DJ/producer’s open-minded and inquisitive approach. Across his near-decade-long career, Fort Romeau has released EPs and featured on compilations for labels such as Running Back, Live At Robert Johnson, Rush Hour, Cocoon, Correspondent, Mule Musiq, and most recently Phantasy Sound with his hi-energy rave edit ‘FWD NRG’ that dropped earlier this year. Now with over 15 million plays across his catalogue on Spotify, Fort Romeau has spent the past ten years carving out his own space within dance music and has cemented himself as one of the most revered names in the industry.
Tracklist: 1. Untitled IV 2. The Truth 3. Power Of Grace 4. Spotlights 5. (In The) Rain 6. Ramona 7. Porta Coeli 8. Beings Of Light
Album Pre-Order HERE
Director and DJ, Ian French (Naif) is passionate about many genres of music from Breakbeat and Drum & Bass to Techno and Electronica. A man that lives in a world of bass and beats, Ian is an obsessive collector of music and a true geek at heart, with many years spent in application design.
- Follow me on Facebook
- Send me an email!
Tresor Records announces their next release by Parisian artist UFO95
Backward Improvement by UFO95 UFO95 debut EP on Tresor ‘Backward Improvement’ sits perfectly in the…
Galactica Festival have just launched their very own imprint – Galactica Music
ICARIUS VOL.1 by Various Artists Galactica Festival are taking its curation skills to the next level…
Nulu Music label boss, Anané drops ‘Take A Ride’ EP on Nervous Records.
Produced by Two Soul Fusion, aka Louie Vega and Josh Milan, the mini-album contains six…
Alita Limona releases her debut Lofi Hip-Hop EP on Stereofox Records
“The idea for the EP started out as a side project while I was working…
Sharam celebrates 25th Anniversary of Eddie Amador’s classic ‘House Music’
Eddie Amador’s ‘House Music’ is, without question, a bonafide classic. As it reaches its 25th…
- Music Premieres
Labels We Love: Ghostly International
All week long, xlr8r is presenting its annual focus on labels we love. click here […].
All week long, XLR8R is presenting its annual focus on Labels We Love. Click here to check out the rest of the series.
Before there was a Ghostly International label, there was the logo. A simple caricature of a ghost, it wasn’t too far off from the bad guys that appear in Pac-Man , its eyes wide and vacant, with a jagged run of triangular cuts along the bottom. As a teenager, Sam Valenti IV, the founder of Ghostly, would put it on mix CDs and roughly mixed compilations of his own production work when he was just beginning to DJ and produce. “I Was DJ Spaceghost in high school,” Valenti says. “I liked ‘ghostly’ as a word. I liked that it was two syllables. I liked that it was an adjective as a brand—you’re describing it. Ghostly can take on different feelings. It can be positive. It can be negative. It felt right.”
The logo might have been around before Valenti went to college at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, but once he got there in 1998, it didn’t take him too long to build a label to match the aesthetic that had been lurking in the back of his mind since was 15. In his first week at school, Valenti met Matthew Dear , now one of Ghostly International’s flagship artists, at a party. “He was a year older than me, and he was just making tracks,” Valenti says. “I was just walking around. I knew I wanted to do a label, so I was like, ‘Hey, you make music, we should get lunch next week. It was a very fertile time… making a record label seemed very accessible. You could just make a record and if it was good, people would play it.”
Sam Valenti (by Jessica Miller)
When Dear met Valenti, he was still figuring out his place as an artist. “I had done a collaboration with some guys from Ann Arbor that got released on a Frisbee Records 12-inch,” he says. “But they forgot to include my name on the release. I remember feeling so upset, as if that was my big break and I had missed the bus.” The relationship between Dear and Valenti developed quickly, though. “I was playing a live techno set in the basement of a house party. It was pretty rare to see someone with a sampler and synthesizer playing that kind of music at that kind of party, so Sam approached me and we immediately hit it off,” he says. “Dance music was still very much the ugly stepchild of popular culture then, so people like us sought each other out.”
It turned out that Ann Arbor, because of its close proximity to the techno mecca of Detroit, was a great place to find like-minded people that just wanted to make good music and who weren’t overly obsessed with the endless, perpetually fruitless quest to attain nonexistent music cool points. “I think a lot of car culture… maybe that’s the genesis of Detroit label culture,” Valenti says. “The first wave of Detroit artists—their parents worked in the auto industry. Brand meant something more than just marketing. It was symbolic of a family or philosophy. I think, subconsciously, Detroit techno is related to factory. Not in an assembly way, but in a brand sense.” It’s fitting then that Ghostly’s first release was “Hands Up for Detroit,” a split 12″ featuring tracks from Dear and Daisha, another young producer who was also making a name for himself as Disco D.
Matthew Dear (by Philistine DSGN)
Dear’s involvement in the label might have partially been borne of circumstance, but he’s also the catalyst for Ghostly’s entire open-ended aesthetic. Rather than stick to one genre, he hops all over the place, welding minimal techno to pop or finding a common ground between country and dance music (not in a bad way). “From the beginning, Ghostly’s sound has been completely open ended,” Dear says. “The label allowed me to define my sound. I was never pigeonholed into needing to sound like my last record. I could sample my guitar and try to write a song with a country melody and Sam wouldn’t blink an eye.” This freewheeling attitude is an essential part of the label. Like Matthew Dear, Ghostly is defined by the fact that it’s undefinable.
Along the way, Valenti launched a sub imprint, Spectral Sound, which is dedicated to more traditional dance releases, as well as Drip.fm , an important music-sharing platform (more on that later). Ghostly now has a full staff, including Jeff Owens, the soft-spoken label manager who’s essential to the day-to-day and helps artists figure out exactly what they should be doing on stage. There’s even a proper office at the Pencil Factory in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood; it’s an old, raw warehouse space that, over the last few years, has somehow turned into a hub of the independent music industry, housing multiple labels, distributors, and publicity companies. Situated in the middle of all this is Valenti, who is now miles away from the kid bumbling through the nascent stages of running a record label without a guidebook.
Jeff Owens and Sam Valenti (by Jessica Miller)
Besides moving into this accidental industry juggernaut of a building, Ghostly has had a particularly notable couple of years. Under normal circumstances for an independent label, that would mean the signing of an artist who rocketed to flash-in-the-pan superstardom, but with Ghostly, it’s always been about slow and steady consistency, even when the music varies so much from release to release. The label’s success largely has to do with the way it’s been reliably pushing the boundaries of what people might expect, to a point where what’s expected has suddenly become more of a way of living than a specific sound.
The average Ghostly release might oscillate between functional dance music and misty, sepia-toned ambient. Or it could be both. Fort Romeau ‘s “Trust Me” builds a nostalgia-inducing piano house loop into an ecstatic pile of tangled synths that at once evokes a vague bygone era of good times while simultaneously sounding very vital and right now. It’s a somewhat traditional song, but it’s got a lot of heart, and, like the rest of the Ghostly catalog, resists simple genre classification. “You had to break people’s preconceptions of what we were,” says Owens. “Everyone wants to box a thing [in] to make sense of it. We’ve always been good at tearing that box open a little bit. Showing that these genres—they all make sense to us because we have, as humans, different emotions. We wouldn’t be able to be just one feeling.” Valenti agrees. “I think there’s a humanism [to Ghostly releases]. You can really feel the artists there. These are people that have mastered the tools, even if they’re figuring them out as they go. They have a pretty strong grasp of what they’re doing.”
The Ghostly International office (by Jessica Miller)
A great example of this is Ghostly’s signing of Gold Panda , a London-based artist that joined the label in 2010. His music is instrumental, but autobiographical as well. His albums are often jittery, built on nervous drums that feel roughly stitched together, like he dreamed them and is frantically trying to capture his dream before it fades away. Listening to a Gold Panda album is not so different from reading his diary. Titles of songs from his new album, Half of Where You Live , include “The Most Liveable City,” “We Work Nights,” and “My Father in Hong Kong 1961.” It’s like we’re spying on his daily conversations, the quiet moments when he’s sifting through a box of old family history. Gold Panda’s music is a travelogue of his past, designed to soundtrack our present. “I didn’t like a lot of vocals because they were too tangible and too normal,” he says. “Being a really emotional teenager, I wanted music that could soundtrack the way I felt. I could attach my own meaning to it.” Valenti echoes this sentiment. “It’s your story too, if it’s instrumental music,” he says. “It’s yours to decide. There’s a strong level of expressionism and abstraction, but there’s also a strong level of minimalism. There’s a hyper-emotional motive, but it comes in and out of focus.” Tadd Mullinix, who records as Dabrye , Mullinix, and about a billion more aliases has also used Ghostly as an open-ended platform for exploring his multi-genre, largely instrumental interests, without feeling like he has to shoehorn anything into a pre-existing alias. “A lot of what we like in a piece of music depends on musical context,” he says. “What we find interesting, like subversion of or a return to a traditional theme or a change in recording technique can be appreciated because it happens in a specific environment. But when an LP or piece is hodgepodge, we can’t really appreciate or understand what an artist is saying.”
In 2011, Polish artist Jacaszek released Glimmer , one of the label’s most emotionally heavy, beautiful, and draining albums. Sonically, it’s about as far as possible from Gold Panda’s scrappy, neurotic instrumentals, but through lurching strings and patches of glitchy, warped synths, Jacaszek, like Gold Panda, is able to use the instrumental format to create mood pieces that exist in the hazy realm between personal memory and universal experience. Glimmer is an open-ended emotional work that is meticulously presented from the music right down to the artwork. “ Glimmer didn’t have any precise concept behind it,” Jacaszek says. “I was searching for a soundscape, yes. Look at Glimmer ‘s album cover. If you have ever seen old stained gold with all the light reflections—this is one of the images I had in my mind.” The artwork was designed by Michael Cina , one of the first designers to be part of the Ghostly visual roster, which now also includes 19 other artists, including photographer Tim Saccenti and illustrator Deanne Cheuk .
Tadd Mullinix (a.k.a. Dabrye)(by James P. Morse)
Cina’s work for the label is diverse—Shigeto’s 2013 record cover for No Better Time Than Now is a mess of waxy colors bleeding into each other. It doesn’t look too far from what happens when you melt crayons on a radiator. In direct contrast to this smear of abstraction, which Cina also used brilliantly on multiple Matthew Dear records, as well as Fort Romeau’s recently released Stay / True EP , is his typographical work, which is blocky and solid, playful and never bland.
Running a record label is difficult. Artists change, priorities shift, and, often, a label panics, abandoning the very artists that defined it in the first place. Ghostly works in direct opposition to this, fostering artists as they grow, develop, and even spawn side projects. It’s this attitude that allows Cina to experiment with different visual styles, just like it allows Todd Osborn, who mostly records as Osborne (“Everyone used to spell my last name wrong in reviews, so ‘Osborne’ was decided on,” he says)—another flagship Ghostly artist that Valenti met when he shopped at his record store in Ann Arbor—to record under an inventive series of aliases. “I make quite a lot of genres and bits of things with no purpose in mind unless it’s a remix for someone,” Osborn says. “For the 2008 LP [titled Osborne ], Sam picked through many songs over maybe a five-year timespan and came up with what he thought was a cohesive bunch. The next Osborne LP has at least one track that’s 15 years old.” Valenti’s sequencing help shows that Ghostly isn’t interested in being “just” another record label searching for a new hit. It also goes a long way in explaining the tongue-in-cheek “International” part of its name.
Todd Osborn (a.k.a. Osborne) (by Will Calcutt)
Love or hate the phrase, Ghostly International is actually a lifestyle brand, and the reason it’s actually a lifestyle brand is because when one removes all the empty marketing speak that a phrase like “lifestyle brand” connotes, there’s actually a genuine idea at the heart of it all. Ghostly still feels like a label as lifestyle—a labor of love that encompasses music and art and notches them seamlessly into our daily lives while treating the album as an object still worth some reverence. “The early Ghostly branding had a lot of faux corporate [speak],” says Valenti. “It was more of a thing at the time. It’s serious, but it’s not po’ faced.”
In the hands of a label with less of a long-term vision, even talking about branding as a joke could be dangerous, but while Ghostly started small and humble, it actually grew into the semi-jokey “International” that’s always been part of the name. (Earlier this year, the label even collaborated with designer eyewear brand Warby Parker on a limited-edition run of high-end sunglasses.) Now Valenti, Owens, and their diverse stable of artists—many of which were selected thanks to the A&R prowess of longtime Ghostly affiliate Jakub Alexander, who also makes his own music as Heathered Pearls —have created a label that appeals to both obsessive completists and casual listeners, building something that hits all the sweet spots of the way we consume music.
Ghostly staff (L-R Sam Valenti, Jakub Alexander, Molly Smith, Jeff Owens) on the Pencil Factory roof (by Jessica Miller)
That said, as Ghostly moves into the future, Valenti is well aware that the ways in which music is being consumed are constantly changing. While the imprint continues to turn out lavish vinyl releases, in 2011 Valenti, along with Miguel Senquiz, founded Drip.fm, a music downloading service that works with labels directly to get their music to their fans. Essentially, how it works is that users pay to receive “drips” from specific labels; of course, Ghostly has always been one of the options—the service actually debuted with Ghostly as the only option—but the Drip.fm roster has quickly expanded and now includes Stones Throw, Mad Decent, Ninja Tune, Dirtybird, and a myriad of other imprints. Participating labels send subscribers high-quality MP3s of each record as it’s released, but also make a point to send out forgotten back-catalog classics or important crowd pleasers when it’s relevant. Basically, users are paying a subscription fee that grants direct, instant access to a sizable chunk of a label’s entire catalog, but unlike the larger, more ubiquitous subscription services out there, Drip.fm doesn’t haphazardly throw the the whole thing at the wall.
“I love the idea of there being a complete set,” Valenti says. “Will [Calcutt, a Ghostly visual artist] was pointing to Miguel [Senquiz]’s shelf and he was like, ‘That’s your record collection in the future: a vase and some books and a vinyl toy.’ He was trying to say we’re not going to have these little shelves of neatly organized media. We’ll still have vinyl for fetish, but it’s going to be objects and stories. We’re trying to break the mold about what collecting is. The music is always the most important thing, but how you think about it is how you see it. If you think about the album, the album cover is in your head, the store you bought it at. Who you were when you were listening to it. Music is the heart of everything we do.”
Support Independent Media
Music, in-depth features, artist content (sample packs, project files, mix downloads), news, and art, for only $3.99/month.
STREAM OR BUY:
- Interfax Group
- Due diligence & KYC
- Reputational Risk
- News Products
- Top Stories
- Exclusive Interviews
- Press Releases
- REQUEST A DEMO
Kamaz FTL hauler registers NatCar brand
MOSCOW. Sept 4 (Interfax) - National Carrier JSC, the full truckload freight trucking company headed by former Globaltruck CEO Ilya Sattarov that Russian truck maker Kamaz founded this summer, applied to register the brand NatCar at the end of August, the registry of federal intellectual property service Rospatent showed.
The NatCar brand is also mentioned in the recruitment ads of National Carrier, which is actively looking for E-class drivers. It is offering working with this year's model Kamaz diesel trucks from the flagship K5 line and new dry goods (curtainsider) and refrigerated trailers.
National Carrier was founded on July 7 in Moscow with charter capital of 1 billion rubles, the Unified State Register of Legal Entities showed. The company registered two branches in early August, in Yekaterinburg and Elektrostal, Moscow Region. The company specializes in truck logistics and associated activities, including digitization processes.
A spokesman for National Carrier told Interfax earlier that the company plans to provide FTL trucking services using its own fleet, "as well as the resources of hired truckers." The company's fleet will initially consist of 400 semi-trailer trucks with a 50/50 ratio of curtainside to refrigerated trailers, and it plans to primarily operate on domestic routes, he said.
The company has preliminary agreements with major customers among marketplaces and retailers in the FMCG and DIY segments, the spokesman said. Strong demand for trucking services is expected toward the end of the year, so there is interest from customers, he said.
Kamaz marketing director Ashot Arutyunyan announced at the International Moscow Automotive Forum at the end of August that the truck maker was the principal investor in National Carrier. He did not comment on the new company's shareholder structure, but said it is a Kamaz startup.
News and other data on this site are provided for information purposes only, and are not intended for republication or redistribution. Republication or redistribution of Interfax content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Interfax.
© 1991—2024 “Interfax Information Group” www.interfax.com. All rights reserved.
Russia establishes special site to fabricate fuel for China’s CFR-600
A special production site to fabricate fuel for China’s CFR-600 fast reactor under construction has been established at Russia’s Mashinostroitelny Zavod (MSZ - Machine-Building Plant) in Elektrostal (Moscow region), part of Rosatom’s TVEL Fuel Company.
As part of the project, MSZ had upgraded existing facilities fo the production of fuel for fast reactors, TVEL said on 3 March. Unique equipment has been created and installed, and dummy CFR-600 fuel assemblies have already been manufactured for testing.
The new production site was set up to service an export contract between TVEL and the Chinese company CNLY (part of China National Nuclear Corporation - CNNC) for the supply of uranium fuel for CFR-600 reactors. Construction of the first CFR-600 unit started in Xiapu County, in China's Fujian province in late 2017 followed by the second unit in December 2020. The contract is for the start-up fuel load, as well as refuelling for the first seven years. The start of deliveries is scheduled for 2023.
“The Russian nuclear industry has a unique 40 years of experience in operating fast reactors, as well as in the production of fuel for such facilities,” said TVEL President Natalya Nikipelova. “The Fuel Division of Rosatom is fulfilling its obligations within the framework of Russian-Chinese cooperation in the development of fast reactor technologies. These are unique projects when foreign design fuel is produced in Russia. Since 2010, the first Chinese fast neutron reactor CEFR has been operating on fuel manufactured at the Machine-Building Plant, and for the supply of CFR-600 fuel, a team of specialists from MSZ and TVEL has successfully completed a complex high-tech project to modernise production,” she explained.
A special feature of the new section is its versatility: this equipment will be used to produce fuel intended for both the Chinese CFR-600 and CEFR reactors and the Russian BN-600 reactor of the Beloyarsk NPP. In the near future, the production of standard products for the BN-600 will begin.
The contract for the supply of fuel for the CFR-600 was signed in December 2018 as part of a governmental agreement between Russia and China on cooperation in the construction and operation of a demonstration fast neutron reactor in China. This is part of a wider comprehensive programme of cooperation in the nuclear energy sector over the coming decades. This includes serial construction of the latest Russian NPP power units with generation 3+ VVER-1200 reactors at two sites in China (Tianwan and Xudabao NPPs). A package of intergovernmental documents and framework contracts for these projects was signed in 2018 during a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
- Terms and conditions
- Newsletter sign up
- Digital Edition
- Editorial Standards