JACASZEK: Glimmer (Ghostly International)

themilkman on Dec 14th 2011 01:22 am

Jacaszek: Glimmer

Ghostly International 2011
09 Tracks. 41mins24secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

With each new release, Polish musician Michal Jacaszek seems to be getting closer to creating the classical work he has been nurturing for the best part of the last decade, but his approach seems to ensure that, if he ever does, it will be on his own terms. Mixing acoustic instrumentation and electronic treatment, Jacaszek’s music is particularly cinematic and emotional, served by beautifully crafted melodies and warm instrumentation (clarinet, harpsichord, acoustic guitars) which, placed against, decaying textures and found sounds, appear even richer and more exquisite. Jacaszek has until now been published on Gustaff and Miasmah, but following his recent signing to Ghostly and his subsequent appearance on the label’s SMM: Context compilation earlier this year, he is now unveiling his latest and most ambitious solo effort. Continue Reading »

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TYCHO: Dive (Ghostly International)

themilkman on Oct 26th 2011 01:20 am

Tycho: Dive

Ghostly International 2011
10 Tracks. 50mins37secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

Tycho is the music project of San Francisco-based graphic designer Scott Hansen, who, as ISO50, has developed a highly identifiable graphic style, often inspired by old seventies imagery. Equally, as Tycho, Hansen produces music which, while primarily electronic and contemporary, appears warm and worn.

Following a first self-released EP published nearly ten years ago, Tycho’s debut album, Sunrise Projector came out in 2004 on short-lived imprint Gammaphone. Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: SMM: Context (Ghostly International)

themilkman on Mar 25th 2011 01:49 am

Various Artists: SMM: Context

SMM: Context
Ghostly International 2011
11 Tracks. 64mins52secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

Anchored in Ann Arbor, a stone throw away from the Mecca of techno, Detroit, Ghostly International has, in the twelve years it has been operating, continuously ventured in and out of the dance culture and reached out into pop, ambient, hip-hop or experimental works by expanding its roster to include the likes of Schools Of Seven Bells, Syntaks, Tycho, Lusine, Dabrye, The Sight Below, Twine or Christopher Willits. While still very much an enigmatic acronym, the term SMM was apparently coined in 2004 by Ghostly to define the then emerging breed of music mixing classical forms with contemporary ambient electronica, a genre which has since been the forte of Miasmah in Norway, and less exclusively, Type in the UK.

The first in a new yearly compilation series from Ghostly, SMM: Context gathers a number of familiar names and attempts to chart a genre which boundaries are, almost by definition, somewhat hazy. Continue Reading »

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CHRISTOPHER WILLITS: Tiger Flower Circle Sun (Ghostly International)

themilkman on Jul 22nd 2010 01:28 am

Christopher Willits: Tiger Flower Circle Sun

Tiger Flower Circle Sun
Ghostly International 2010
15 Tracks. 45mins21secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD

Christopher Willits is, amongst other things, a guitarist, but listening to his records and how processed his sound can be, one would be forgiven for overlooking this fact. But Willits is much more than a musician; label owner of Overlap.org, software designer and audio visual artist amongst others, there is, it seems, very little he is not willing to take on. With twenty records released in twelve years, Willits has been rather productive. Beside his solo efforts (four in total), he has worked with a number of sound artists and musicians over the years, amongst others Taylor Deupree, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Oren Ambarchi or Shuttle 358, and has had music published on labels as diverse as Fällt, 12K, Room40, Plop or Mille Plateaux. Continue Reading »

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THE SIGHT BELOW: It All Falls Apart (Ghostly International) / RAFAEL ANTON IRISARRI: Reverie (Immune Recordings)

themilkman on Jun 11th 2010 12:32 am

The Sight Below: It All Falls Apart Rafael Anton Irisarri: Reverie

It All Falls Apart
Ghostly International 2010
07 Tracks. 49mins56secs

Immune Recordings 2010
03 Tracks. 23mins19secs

The Sight Below: Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD
Rafael Anton Irisarri: Amazon UK: LP US: LP Boomkat: LP

There is fundamentally not much of a gap between the work Rafael Anton Irisarri releases under his own name and that he publishes as The Sight Below. The angle he approaches these two projects places them in very different spheres. With one, he deploys deeply atmospheric soundscapes into almost gothic compositions, while, with the other, it is towards an ethereal form of instrumental pop music and electronic shoegaze that he turns his attention to. It may be pure coincidence that two releases, one for each project, have materialised almost simultaneously, but this contributes to expose Irisarri’s range in interesting fashion. First in line is it All Falls Apart, Irisarri’s second full length release under the Sight Below brand, published on Ann Arbor, MI’s Ghostly International, a record which partly builds on the vast sonic landscapes of its predecessor. The second release, Reverie, coming under Irisarri’s own name, available as a limited edition LP and download set from Chicago, IL’s Immune Recordings, focuses on much more introverted music forms.    Continue Reading »

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Ghostly International And Throne Of Blood Halloween Party, Studio B, Brooklyn, New York, 31/10/2008

David Abravanel on Nov 16th 2008 11:49 pm

In a way, Halloween and dark dance floors exist for the same reason: to encourage people to let go of inhibitions and look a little silly, if only for a moment.  Being on a dance floor during a good DJ set is analogous to attending a costume party, possessed by the temporary thrill of leaving one’s own mundane insecurities for the rush of an alternatively structured social situation.  Maybe New York’s infamous Club Kids were on to something, always flaunting such flamboyantly unusual fashions.

The night’s main event is a live set from Audion, Matthew Dear’s hard minimal house alias, the desirous Id to the Ego confessions from his given name or the detached mechanical Superego that is False. Continue Reading »

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MICHNA: Magic Monday (Ghostly International)

themilkman on Nov 6th 2008 01:58 am

Michna: Magic Monday

Magic Monday
Ghostly International 2008
12 Tracks. 47mins50secs

Adrian Michna spend part of his early years in New York, but it is his move to Miami and the party spirit that can be found there that fuelled his need to make music. Having cut his teeth as a DJ, Michna’s first noticeable foray into electronic music was as part of Secret Frequency Crew, who released the splendid Forest Of The Echo Downs four years ago.

Having now landed a place alongside the likes of Matthew Dear, Kiln and School Of Seven Bells on the eclectic Ghostly imprint, Michna delivers his first slice of solo goodness, splattered all over the forty-eight minutes of Magic Monday. Continue Reading »

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TWINE: Violets (Ghostly International)

themilkman on Jun 27th 2008 12:26 am

Twine: Violets

Ghostly International 2008
10 Tracks. 58mins42secs

Greg Malcolm and Chas Mossholder met in high school in the late eighties and began collaborating as Twine toward the end of the nineties, after having spent part of their formative years in various bands. Their first album, Reference, was released on AdAstra in 1999 and was quickly followed by Resource, a split album with Horchata. Since, the pair’s complex and emotional mix of glitch, dense atmospherics, reminiscent of 4AD at its haunting peak, and intricate electronic structures adorned with found sounds, has been constantly refined, redefined, and applied on three magnificent albums, released over a three year period, from Circulation (Komplott, 2001), to Recorder (Bip-Hop, 2002) and Twine (Ghostly, 2003). Since, despite being announced for over three years, Violets had remained mysteriously out of Ghostly’s release schedule, until now. Continue Reading »

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Robert Rowlands on Apr 22nd 2008 10:23 pm

INTERVIEW: Matthew Dear

In the space of just a few years, Matthew Dear has established himself as one of America’s most consistent electronic musicians around. A true all-rounder, seemingly as much at ease with techno, minimal house and techno pop, Dear follows his instinct instead of trends. His most recent album, Asa Breed, has catapulted him into electronic music’s premier league. Here, he talks to Robert Rowlands about being influenced by European techno, touring with Hot Chip, how his music is a reflection of his life and what matters to him when listening to other people’s music.

Continue Reading »

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KILN: Dusker (Ghostly International)

themilkman on Apr 7th 2008 11:00 pm

Kiln: Dusker

Ghostly International 2007
11 Tracks. 52mins07secs

Michigan-based trio Kiln, formed of Kevin Hayes, Kirk Marrison and Cark Rehberg III, originally operated under the Fibreforms and Waterwheel banners. As Kiln, they have released five albums since 1997, exploring the boundaries between post rock and electronica. With their latest effort, released at the end of last year on Ghostly International, these boundaries are more blurred than ever. Indeed, while the trio’s music is partly based on guitars, drums and live percussions, these sources are considerably processed and redeployed to fill spaces that aren’t naturally that of the original instruments, making it almost impossible to distinguish between the sound sources and the added components.

This results in Kiln’s sound appearing warm and organic, with tracks building consistence around dense sonic formations and slowly evolving into heavy melodic themes. Continue Reading »

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CHRISTOPHE WILLITS: Surf Boundaries (Ghostly International)

themilkman on Sep 14th 2006 09:26 pm

Christopher Willits: Surf Boundaries

Surf Boundaries
Ghostly International 2006
12 Tracks. 37mins23secs

There is something opulent and comforting in the smooth tones and processed sounds of Christopher Willits’s new album. Hailing from San Francisco, Willits has released records on labels as diverse as 12K, Fällt, Sub Rosa, Nibble and Plop, as well as collaborations with Brad Laner as North Valley Subconscious Orchestra, and with Kid606’s Miguel DePedro and Hella drummer Zach Hill, with whom he is currently recording as Flössin. If this wasn’t enough, he also regularly contributes to diverse multimedia projects and installations. Continue Reading »

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