Ghostly International

Last updated
Ghostly International
Founded1999 (1999)
FounderSamuel Valenti IV
Distributor(s) BWSCD, Inc.
Country of originUnited States
Location Ann Arbor, Michigan
Official website

Ghostly International is an American independent record label founded in 1999 by Samuel Valenti IV and currently headquartered in Brooklyn, New York City. Chief artists include Matthew Dear, Dabrye (a.k.a. Tadd Mullinix), Com Truise, Tycho, Gold Panda, School of Seven Bells, Mux Mool, and Shigeto.

An independent record label is a record label that operates without the funding of major record labels. Many artists begin their careers on independent labels.

Brooklyn Borough in New York City and county in New York state, United States

Brooklyn is the most populous borough of New York City, with an estimated 2,648,771 residents in 2017. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island. Since 1896, Brooklyn has been coterminous with Kings County, the most populous county in the U.S. state of New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County.

Matthew Dear American musician

Matthew Dear is an American music producer, DJ and electronic avant-pop artist.



Ghostly International was founded in Ann Arbor, Michigan by Sam Valenti IV in 1999. [1] He grew up in suburban Detroit, where, having become a fan of underground music culture, he would sneak into hip-hop clubs by carrying records for his Detroit DJ hero Houseshoes. Valenti later became a DJ himself, taking the name DJ SpaceGhost; [2] this theme is echoed by the name and logo of Ghostly International.

Ann Arbor, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. The 2010 census recorded its population to be 113,934, making it the sixth largest city in Michigan.

This is a list of notable events in music that took place in 1999.

Detroit Largest city in Michigan

Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the largest United States city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2017 estimated population of 673,104, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art, architecture and design.

Valenti met Matthew Dear at a house party that Valenti attended during his first week at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Their shared affection for electronic music, particularly the sound of Detroit techno, led to the label's (and Dear’s) first 12 inch single, "Hands Up For Detroit." Following this, Ghostly enjoyed early success with albums by Mullinix as well as Disco Nouveau , a compilation including artists such as ADULT., Solvent, Legowelt, Daniel Wang and DMX Krew, inspired by the Italo disco movement of the 1970s and 1980s.

University of Michigan Public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

The University of Michigan, often simply referred to as Michigan, is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The university is Michigan's oldest; it was founded in 1817 in Detroit, as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the territory became a state. The school was moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet spread out over a Central Campus and North Campus, two regional campuses in Flint and Dearborn, and a Center in Detroit. The university is a founding member of the Association of American Universities.

Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means, and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, and electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar, which are typically made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer, and computer can produce electronic sounds.

Detroit techno is a type of techno music that generally includes the first techno productions by Detroit-based artists during the 1980s and early 1990s. Prominent Detroit techno artists include Juan Atkins, Eddie Fowlkes, Derrick May, Jeff Mills, Kevin Saunderson, Blake Baxter, Drexciya and Mike Banks.

The label has since widened its focus to include groups such as Skeletons & The Girl-Faced Boys and Mobius Band, whose rock-based sound meshes with the label's eccentric leanings. Also known for forward-thinking package design by the likes of Will Calcutt and Deanne Cheuk, as well as the Boy, Cat, and Bird logos of Michael Segal, Ghostly International aims to be a complete aesthetic experience.

Deanne Cheuk is an illustrator, designer, art director and artist. She was born in Perth, Western Australia, and currently resides in New York City.

Ghostly International followed up Disco Nouveau with two more successful compilation albums featuring its artists: Idol Tryouts and Idol Tryouts 2 .

A compilation album comprises tracks, which may be previously released or unreleased, usually from several separate recordings by either one or several performers. If by one artist, then generally the tracks were not originally intended for release together as a single work, but may be collected together as a greatest hits album or box set. If from several performers, there may be a theme, topic, time period, or genre which links the tracks, or they may have been intended for release as a single work—such as a tribute album. When the tracks are by the same recording artist, the album may be referred to as a retrospective album or an anthology.

<i>Idol Tryouts</i> 2003 compilation album by Ghostly International

Idol Tryouts is the second various artists compilation album released by Michigan-based label Ghostly International. Unlike the label's previous sampler Disco Nouveau, Idol Tryouts contains music solely from artists signed to Ghostly International. Musical genres represented here span techno, electro, electroclash and tech house.

<i>Idol Tryouts 2</i> 2006 compilation album by Ghostly International

Idol Tryouts 2 is a various artists compilation album released by Ann Arbor, Michigan-based record label Ghostly International. It is the label's third compilation overall and the second in their Idol Tryouts series. Idol Tryouts 2 contains tracks from artists on the label and spans the musical genres of electronica, techno, electro, tech house and trip hop. Included in Idol Tryouts 2 is a second disc which highlights ambient music selections from Ghostly International artists.

Ghostly International also runs a companion label, Spectral Sound, dedicated to more dancefloor-oriented music coming from some of the same artists on Ghostly (such as James T. Cotton, another moniker of Tadd Mullinix, aka Dabrye).

Spectral Sound

Spectral Sound is a record label that was originally an offshoot of the more cerebral Ghostly International, but has since gained similar notoriety thanks to successful records by Matthew Dear and other techno producers. The label began in 2000 to fulfill the more dancefloor-oriented interests of founder Samuel Valenti IV, and early singles included artists like Kenneth Graham, Osborne and James T. Cotton.

Dabrye American musician

Tadd Mullinix or Dabrye is an American musician from Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States, also known by the aliases James T. Cotton and SK-1. During his adolescent years, he grew up in Troy, MI. His Winking Makes a Face was the first album released by Ann Arbor’s Ghostly International. Parting with the IDM sound of Winking..., the first Dabrye album was 2001's One/Three, whose take on instrumental hip-hop paralleled the work of artists such as Prefuse 73. His early influences are White Zombie and 7 Seconds. His first band in high school was Battery 3, a shoegazing takeoff of the band Spacemen 3.

Ghostly International and Adult Swim released a compilation album known as Ghostly Swim , [3] available on Adult Swim's website for free. It was released with a bonus track on January 27, 2009 as a limited edition CD. A sequel to Ghostly Swim, Ghostly Swim 2 , was released digitally on December 23, 2014, and on CD on April 28, 2015.

The label has also been involved in the soundtracks for video games. In 2014, Ghostly released a compilation album of new and previously recorded work by Ghostly artists to act as the soundtrack to the video game Hohokum . [4] A year later, the first soundtrack to critically acclaimed videogame Minecraft by German musician C418 was released by Ghostly as a vinyl LP on August 21, 2015, four years after its original digital release by C418. [5] [6]

List of artists

Formerly signed

Related Research Articles

<i>Disco Nouveau</i> 2002 compilation album by Ghostly International

Disco Nouveau is the first compilation album of Ann Arbor, Michigan record label Ghostly International. Released in 2002, the album served as a modern update of Giorgio Moroder's famed Italo disco sound of the 1970s and 1980s and includes contributions from artists such as Solvent, ADULT., and Susumu Yokota. It served as a major inspiration to the burgeoning electroclash movement and has been praised for its persistent relevance in much the same way as Moroder himself.

I-F musician

I-f is the stage name of Ferenc E. van der Sluijs, a Dutch producer and DJ based in The Hague. He is a former member of the Dutch techno-pioneers Unit Moebius.

Studio !K7 record label

!K7 Music is an independent record label and music company based in Berlin, Germany that focuses mostly on electronic music. The name is an abbreviation of the company's original Berlin address, Kaiserdamm 7. !K7 has since opened branch offices in New York City and London.

Solvent is the stage name used by electronic producer and remixer Jason Amm. Although his music has been included in the electroclash movement, many of Solvent's tracks fall under the intelligent dance music or electropop genres. Jason Amm's music is often associated with its strong influence from early 1980s artists such as Soft Cell and Depeche Mode, but the influence is much wider, spanning the last three decades.

Disco D American Music producer and composer

David Aaron Shayman, better known by his stage name Disco D, was an American record producer and composer. He started as a teenage DJ in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he helped DJ Godfather popularize the Detroit electronic music called "Ghettotech". Disco D produced the track "Ski Mask Way" on American hip-hop artist 50 Cent's The Massacre album. He committed suicide in Washington, D.C. on January 23, 2007.

<i>One/Three</i> 2001 studio album by Dabrye

One/Three is the first album released under the name Dabrye by Ann Arbor, Michigan electronic musician Tadd Mullinix.

<i>Two/Three</i> 2006 studio album by Dabrye

Two/Three is Michigan musician Tadd Mullinix's second studio album under the Dabrye name. It was released by the Ghostly International label on June 13, 2006, around five years after its predecessor One/Three.

Williams Street Records, LLC is an American independent record company found by Jason DeMarco, based in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a joint venture of Williams Street Studios and Warner Music Group and it is distributed through Alternative Distribution Alliance. Under that label, they have released original works of music, some of which are related to their shows on Adult Swim. The label is managed by Chris Hartley, and the A&R is Jason DeMarco.

Mux Mool American musician

Mux Mool is an American electronic musician, producer, and visual artist affiliated with the labels Moodgadget, Ghostly International, and Super Best Records. He has been featured on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, and is a member of Club Scouts, a musical partnership with Michal Menert. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado.

<i>Ghostly Swim</i> 2008 compilation album by Various artists

Ghostly Swim is a free digital download album released in 2008 by Adult Swim and Ghostly International. The track listing contains songs arranged and recorded in an unusual avant-garde style of pop, rock and hip hop. A sequel album, Ghostly Swim 2, was released in 2014.

The soundtrack of the 2011 Mojang video game Minecraft was composed by German musician Daniel Rosenfeld, better known as C418. The game's soundtrack is instrumental ambient music, and has been praised by critics. In 2011, the video game blog Kotaku chose the soundtrack as one of the best video game soundtracks of that year. Minecraft′s soundtrack was released across two soundtrack albums, Minecraft – Volume Alpha (2011), and Minecraft – Volume Beta (2013). Both albums include music featured in the game, as well as other music included in trailers, and instrumentals that were not included in the game's final release. In 2015, Rosenfeld hinted at a potential upcoming third album for Minecraft's soundtrack. In 2017, Rosenfeld confirmed the future release, claiming "[the album] is still far from done". In April 2019, he said, "Hopefully in the coming months."

<i>Hohokum</i> 2014 video game

Hohokum is an art video game by developer Honeyslug in collaboration with British artist Richard Hogg and Sony Santa Monica and published by Sony for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita. The player controls a snakelike creature to explore 17 whimsical worlds with no set objectives. The developers, who began development in 2008, compared the concept to flying a kite and were inspired by free London museums, Portmeirion, and indigenous cultures. It was released on August 12, 2014, and features a soundtrack by Ghostly International artists. The game received "generally favorable reviews", according to video game review score aggregator Metacritic. Critics appreciated the game's presentation, including its art and music, but felt that the gameplay turned to drudgery towards its end and that the objectives were too vague.

Michna (electronic artist) American musician

Adrian Yin Michna is an American DJ and music producer, performing under the mononym Michna. He is currently based in Brooklyn and is signed to Ghostly International.

Ollie Anderson McLaughlin was an American record producer and record label owner. He discovered Del Shannon, and also organized or produced recordings by Dave Brubeck, Chet Baker, Dorothy Ashby, Barbara Lewis, and the Capitols, among many others.

Three/Three is the third studio album by American musician Tadd Mullinix, under the name Dabrye. It was released in February 2018 under Ghostly International.


  1. Ghostly International: The Q&A, The Journal of Murketing
  2. They spin by night: The rise of Ann Arbor indie label Ghostly International, Detroit Metro Times
  3. Ghostly Swim compilation, Adult Swim
  4. Rose, Mike (August 11, 2014). "Pure Hohokum: How Honeyslug's wacky world came together". Gamasutra . UBM Tech. Archived from the original on August 14, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
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