- In April, Ghostly International dropped their second compilation with Adult Swim, the animated TV network, whose label has previously released music by Little Dragon, Killer Mike and Flying Lotus, as well as a similar joint-effort with Hyperdub. The collection, which is available as a free download, favors newcomers and unknown artists over established acts, with a number of producers appearing on Ghostly for the first time.
One such newcomer is the UNO NYC-affiliated producer Feral, who offers up a sparse, sternum-shaking beat on "Mirror" that's built around a malfunctioning vocal clip reminiscent of Arca or Holly Herndon. Galcher Lustwerk also makes his Ghostly debut. He's been slowly releasing individual tracks from his 100% Galcher mix, and "In The Place"—which only comes on the album's physical version—exemplifies his hypnotic, weed-headed swagger. CFCF's "Oil" deserves a mention for cleverly flipping Steve Reich's "Nagoya Marimba" into a slow-burning cosmic disco joint.
The album's 13 tracks are ethereal but not lightweight, with buoyant melodies and spectral textures that hover low to the ground like a heavy gas. The strength of the record is that it's dynamic within a clearly defined field; it's both cohesive and varied, and it makes sense within the context of Ghostly's trademark sound. A thread of melancholy runs through the collection, embodied in far-off chimes, white noise whispers, soft, clicky percussion and warm sub-bass. Whether it's the arpeggiated ambience of "Supra" by Heather Pearls or Nautiluss's swinging dance floor destroyer, "Lonely Planet," the internal logic remains.
Adult Swim's catalogue has been excellently curated, and it's rare to see such a powerful media platform so convincingly in touch with the underground. The extra promotional boost that the brand inevitably provides (and the fact that it's a free download) meant Ghostly could focus on lesser-known artists without worrying about record sales. Producers like Nautiluss, Patricia, Lord RAJA and Pascäal are promising acts, and this compilation proves that Ghostly knows where and how to place their bets.
01. Pascaal - Holo
02. Shigeto - Tide Pools
03. Anenon - Grapevine
04. Heathered Pearls - Supra
05. Babe Rainbow - Don't Tell Me I'm Wrong
06. Dauwd - Kolido
07. Patricia - Spotting
08. Lord RAJA - Spilt Out In Cursive
09. CFCF - Oil
10. Feral - Mirror
11. Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler - I Only Have Eyes For You
12. Acemo - Futurism
13. Nautiluss - Lonely Planet
14. Galcher Lustwerk - In The Place