One year after Michigan-based artist Zach Saginaw released his third album as Shigeto, a genre-blending Detroit love letter called The New Monday, he returns with another eclectic display of affection for the musical community that makes Motor City music tick. The four new tracks on his Weighted EP, including a sumptuous remix from Detroit house luminary AndrÃ©s, continue to refine and augment the patchwork of jazz, hip-hop, and electronics that Shigeto has built his catalog with.
Ouri is a DJ, electronic producer and multi-instrumentalist. Hailing from South America by way of France, she produces electronic music in Montreal. Her background experience with the piano, harp and cello heavily influence her shape-shifting approach to melody and bass. Her 2015 EP Maze is a provocative experience of vivid, entrancing dance music. Aggressive, refreshing and playful, her sound is bold and self-assured. In 2017, Ouri released her debut album Superficial, a kind of laboratory where she mixes her truth with chaos. Her obsession with strong sensations, femininity and this same truth makes up the heart of this project. In late 2017, she joined force with Montreal-based singer-songwriter Mind Bath and dropped a surprise self-titled EP. The Ouri / Mind Bath EP features both tenderness and aggressiveness, and balances the femininity and masculinity of the two artists.Ouri's first oering in 2018 is a new EP entitled We Share Our Blood and her first release on Ghostly International. Despite crusades or potential AI domination, we keep sharing our blood: for creation or destruction. Either motivated by rivalry, fusion or strangeness, we blend. Ouri uses a direct path to convey this primitive condition. A sovereign state, this project allows no collaboration. Using her own voice for the first time, she suspends withdeep sincerity the moral turpitude that seeks to be caressed. The drum breaks are crisp and raw, the bass lines are overpowering. The voice and appealing harmonies bring out a soothing side, balancing this whole adventure. Contrary to her previous work, this EP is shaped out of mantras and hymns, ushering through the portal an oering of space for listeners to investigate their own fantasies.
Beacon’s third full-length record enters sight as a work of meticulous revision and refraction. Returning home to New York in 2016, four years and several tours since the duo's first release with Ghostly International, Thomas Mullarney III and Jacob Gossett knew the next direction would be dierent. Together they embarked on open-ended sessions, adopting a more linear style of songwriting compared to their previous loop and texture-driven method. They fundamentally constructed demos from piano chords and guitar phrases with vocal melodies, editing iterations almost ad infinitum, looking through each from a multitude of angles. Compositions expanded, while others pared back to where they began. Like the bending of light, this abstractive and patient process outlines a space and scale in which seemingly separate colors — minimalist ballads, elaborate pop spirituals, and four-on-the-floor dance sequences — can coexist at dierent speeds, fanning out with spectral cohesion. A prismatic collection Beacon call Gravity Pairs.
Ask Will Wiesenfeld to contrast his project Baths with the music made under his Geotic alias, and you'll get a simple response: Baths is activelistening, Geotic is passive listening. But behind this straightforward duality exists two projects that are equally poignant yet starkly distinct,reflective of the emotional complexities of its creator. Don't mistake passive listening for anything remotely resembling apathy.Over the course of nine self-released albums plus a handful of singles & EPs (all released on Bandcamp), Wiesenfeld has certainly proved thecontrary. With Abysma, his first release for Ghostly, Wiesenfeld solidified this notion as Geotic makes his label debut in tandem with the projectsfirst ever physical oering. In 2018, Wiesenfeld presents his second full-length for Ghostly: Traversa.Part of Wiesenfeld's inspiration comes from his own domestic situation. A native of the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, the classically trainedmusician has settled on the Westside, inhabiting an apartment a short ride from the ocean. "It's a relaxing and slightly displaced vibe thatinforms the project. It's full of art everywhere, all my comics, an amazing media set up," Wiesenfeld says. "It's all the stuff that I've saved for andwanted to have in my life but didn't feel comfortable [setting up] until I moved in here. We nested the shit out of this place.""So much of dance music is about partying and going out and having a really hardcore social experience," Wiesenfeld says. "Dance music has never been that for me. So much of my experience listening to music is being by myself - at home or in my car. Those feelings are especially apparent on the tracks that comprise Abysma: songs that feel lived-in and comfortable - imbued with feelings that cant be faked or compartmentalized.
Matthew Dear is a shapeshifter, oscillating seamlessly between DJ, dance-music producer, and experimental pop auteur. He is a founding artist on both Ghostly International and its dancefloor offshoot, Spectral Sound. Bunny is the name of Matthew Dear's fifth album. His first since 2012, it bounces into plain sight preceded by two slyly different singles in 2017: the moody, urgent "Modafinil Blues" and the buoyant, blithe, Tegan and Sara-featuring "Bad Ones." Bunny follows both modes, among others, parading down a rabbit hole of unhinged phrasings, dreams, and interludes. It saunters in the shadows; it stands brightly in the moonlight. Bunny is a dual vision of avant-pop; an artistic reckoning from a 21st-century polymath; persona splintered, paradox paraphrased, a riddle rendered.
Across two decades, Tadd Mullinix has amassed himself a veritable arsenal of aliases, exploring nearly as many styles and sounds from the willfully weird EBM he makes as Charles Manier, to the acid-inclined house and techno of JTC, or the freeform electronics released under his given name, Mullinix carves a distinctive niche with his music. But inspiration comes in waves, and the creative surge resurrected Mullinix's acclaimed hip-hop project, Dabrye, and, as might be expected from such a multifaceted producer, it also gave life to the latest alias in his arsenal: X-Altera.
The name itself reflects as much. "X-Altera references two things. It comes from Latin - ex altera - which means 'from or of the other side.' Which could be a metaphysical thing, or you could say it's jungle ethics brought into the techno world. And I spelled it this way as a reference to X-101 and X-102, the Underground Resistance project of Jeff Mills, Mike Banks, and Robert Hood." Detroit meets London, deep techno meets drum & bass, old meets new - X-Altera unites these threads in order to take them in unknown directions.
Memories - places, vacancies, allusions - are fundamental characters in Mary Lattimore's evocative craft. The Los Angeles-based harpist recorded her breakout 2016 album, At The Dam, during stops along a road trip across America, letting the serene landscapes of Joshua Tree and Marfa, Texas color her compositions. In 2018, from a restorative station - a redwood barn, nestled in the hills above San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge - emanates Hundreds of Days, her second full-length LP with Ghostly International. The record sojourns between silences and speech, between microcosmic daily scenes and macrocosmic universal understandings, between being alien in promising new places and feeling torn from old native havens. It's an expansive new chapter in Lattimore's story, and an expression of mystified gratitude. A study in how ordinary components helix together to create an extraordinary world.
Dabrye is Tadd Mullinix's hip-hop wildstyle, a captivating collage inspired by the laid back vibes of midwestern hip-hop and east coast boom bap, the futuristic funk of Ummah-era Jay Dee, and the calculated subtlety of Detroit dance music. Re-issued on double vinyl for the first time, One/Three remains a concise and intriguing study in instrumental hip-hop that helps join the dots between Slum Village and the beats of today.
Made possible after a beat tape swap between Prefuse 73 and Dabrye after the pair shared the stage in Detroit, Instrmntl is a continuation of the beat experiments Tadd Mullinix began with One/Three and a bridge to the diverse textures that would define Two/Three four years later.Instrmntl offers a snapshot of a time when potentials seemed infinite, when lines could be drawn between jazz, ragga jungle, techno, and hip-hop and the resulting shape divined an exciting future.
On Two/Three, the second Dabrye album for Ghostly International, Tadd Mullinix brought together a formidable crew of local and national rap talent to make the statement he’d always intended.With Two/Three Dabrye placed himself at the forefront of hip-hop's mid-2000s new wave and threw a Molotov cocktail into the rap world as uncompromising as the head-twisting cover art from WK Interact.
When Ann Arbor's Tadd Mullinix began exploring hip-hop under the name Dabrye 20 years ago, he soon honed in on a startling vision of what the genre could be: ingenious, refined, daring. This vision came to life across two albums for Ghostly International - 2001's One/Three and its 2006 follow-up Two/Three - with each record further positioning the quiet Michigan producer as one of his generation's best, equally comfortable creating minimalist instrumental meditations or sharp rap salvos. In the late 2000s, following critical acclaim and accolades from both peers and inspirations (including the late Jay Dee with whom Mullinix collaborated before his untimely passing), Mullinix put the Dabrye moniker on ice and dedicated himself to other genres and ideas.
All this changes in 2017 as Dabrye makes his long-awaited return with Three/Three, a razor-sharp rap album that brings to completion a prophetic trilogy. Guests include indie rap legend DOOM, Wu Tang storyteller Ghostface Killah, L.A word fanatic Jonwayne, and Long Island's rugged surrealist Roc Marciano. Most importantly Three/Three is, much like its predecessor, an unfettered celebration of Detroit-area talent with Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, Kadence, Quelle Chris, Danny Brown, Shigeto, Clear Soul Forces and more all lending their touch to Dabrye's return.
Nearly 20 years after the first Dabrye beats burst out of Mullinix's home computer, Ghostly International is compiling reissues of all three Dabrye albums - One/Three, Two/Three, and Instrmntl - with the third chapter in the Dabrye album trilogy, the long-awaited Three/Three album, in an exclusive limited edition numbered box set. Time hasn’t dulled Mullinix's sonic throw-ups, if anything the blur between digital and physical, hip-hop and electronic, subtlety and ruggedness that his music always implied is even more relevant today, especially in a world where students of his style are among the biggest names in the game. Like the city it looked to for inspiration, Dabrye's sound was built to last.
"Black boys have a whole world of complexity that society makes us stomp out of ourselves." Language, Bryndon Cook's full-length debut as Starchild & The New Romantic, communicates his refusal to do so. Describing himself early-on as a "young romantic boy from Maryland," Cook has long been a dreamer, a student of black music's rich lineage and its intersection with pop. He's drawn to landmark moments where artists have found truth in darkness; the diverse language of music living in their core. This record is his; lifting off from the monochrome world of Crucial, his 2016 EP on Ghostly International, up towards a dazzling crimson blood-rush of sky-high defiance and autonomy. On Language, Cook refines his phonics for funk, electro, and R&B, and arrives at a revelation, best summarized by a single motto: "my sensitivity is my strength."
Since his 2012 debut as Heathered Pearls, Jakub Alexander has constructed art - music, objects, installations - as a way of revisiting and re-imagining fragments of his past. The Polish-born producer's first album was a slow, oceanic response to the ambient music his mother introduced him to as a kid. His second, 2015's Body Complex, used melodic repetition to render the architectural structures of his daydreams as a teen, as well as the late night drives home with friends in the afterglow of a rave. Detroit, MI 1997 - 2001 resumes reflection on the formative era. The EP's four compositions take their respective names from four distinct locations of Alexander's youth, and sonically suggest the deeper sides of early Detroit techno. The sound that pulled him and countless others from the suburbs to the scene at a young age; music he’s been DJing for the last 20 years and relied on especially when warming up bigger rooms on tour with Tycho.
Kllo, an electronic pop collaboration between Melbourne cousins Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam, waded in figurative backwater for much of 2016, amidst an extensive world tour. These were exciting times; the duo's Well Worn EP furthered the promise of 2014 EP Cusp, receiving millions of streams and landing Kllo on festival stages as well as Artists-to-Watch lists. Nonetheless, the stretch kept them far from home, isolated and vulnerable, treading through perpetual uncharted territory while yearning for the comforts of the familiar.
Kllo have officially come out the other end of the stilted estuary with twelve compositions cultivated to feel timeless and crafted, and equally current. The duo’s debut full length - and their most realized work to date - Backwater celebrates the ephemeral and the enduring changes in emotion, the downfalls and the dissolves. It’s an album that parts course with its flow, and flourishes in a lowland.
It's been four years since Zach Saginaw, aka Shigeto, returned home to Michigan from a stint in Brooklyn, NY, and since then, the multi-faceted musician has become a part of the fabric of Detroit's music scene. While always having a personal approach to his projects, Saginaw's influences for his third album, The New Monday, are more about the community of Detroit than anything else. The record - named after a weekly DJ event called Monday is the New Monday that Saginaw does at the unassuming Motor City Wine with a group of friends - aptly features contributions from many other Detroit-based artists like Danny Brown's Bruiser Brigade affiliate ZelooperZ (who Saginaw also has a side project with called ZGTO). The New Monday represents a communal effort where solidarity is the key.
"I think over the past four years, I can confidently say that I found my place here," describes Saginaw. "I'm happy here and I feel that I have the respect from the people I need respect from, that I want respect from. It’s all of the result of embracing it and embracing, not Detroit, but embracing community, embracing family, being closer to my parents, being closer to my oldest friends."
In August 2017, Ghostly International will reissue Com Truise's Cyanide Sisters EP in premium 12" jacket. The first official Com Truise release - originally a digital download through AMDISCS in 2010, remastered and expanded by Ghostly in 2012 - Cyanide Sisters was an electrifying introduction to a prodigious new talent. At the time Seth Haley was a designer by trade, making music out of his bedroom in Princeton, New Jersey with a collection of analogue equipment. While many of his contemporaries were mining nostalgia as an end unto itself, Haley recombined older musical forms as a means of expressing something deeper and more ambitious, building a carefully conceived picture of the artist’s vibrant inner world.
"Repetition is a form of change," reads one of Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies. Seth Haley knows the concept well, and his style of technicolour synth-wave takes the mantra as a challenge. Six years after Galactic Melt introduced the cosmic story of Com Truise, Iteration now concludes his sprawling saga. True to its name, the album is built on Com Truise hallmarks: neon-streaked melodies, big drums, robotic grooves, bleary nostalgia. But Iteration is also the most elegant and streamlined that Haley's singular music has ever sounded. At the album's heart is an elaborate narrative, one full of longing, hope, anxiety, and triumph. Iteration illustrates the last moments Com Truise spends on the perilous planet Wave 1, before he and his alien love escape its clutches to live in peace. "...Of Your Fake Dimension" launches the interstellar drama with its anthemic swells and widescreen sound design, before lovesick songs like "Dryswch" and "Propagation" outline scenes wrought with cybernetic pathos. Later, the frantic rhythms of "Syrthio" conjure images of panicked flight as Haley's gorgeous synth melodies gild the action in quiet heartbreak. Then comes the resounding "When Will You Find The Limitâ€¦", when Iteration's pain and sadness finds liberation in the vast unknown. The closing title track ends it all in a gush of majestic revelry. So goes the winding story that Iteration tells, and yet there's more behind its telling. "I try hard not to write from my personal life, but it's inevitably going to seep into the music," Haley explains. "It's basically like I'm scoring this film in my head, but that film I'm scoring is also somehow my life." There are glimpses of the difficult time the East Coast native spent adjusting to a new life in Los Angeles, fighting homesickness and burnout while also touring the world. It was a time full of uncertainty, transition, and self-realization. After a year and a half of living in California, Hayley finally recaptured his creativity by finding new excitement in his work. "I put more air, more breathing room in the music-- that was the big change," he says. And once that clicked, the album just poured out of him. "It was like an information dump. I feel like I finished the record in two weeks." Such a clear refinement of the Com Truise sound took time to develop, but Iteration is well worth the patience and perseverance it cost. Some of Haley's smartest, catchiest work is here, from the weightless pop of "Isostasy" to "Ternary"'s lush synth-funk. A song like "Vacuume" somehow balances massive bass drops and smashing drums with angelic gasps, and "Usurper" gracefully pairs subtle poignancy and uplifting dance beats. "For me, it feels like change," Hayley says of his second album, and yes, this is Com Truise like never before. By embracing the music's inherent nature and peerless qualities, Iteration finds new avenues of expression in its vivid, familiar surroundings.