We’d be hard pressed to think of someone more qualified to make a playlist for our 15th anniversary than longstanding Ghostly visual artist Michael Cina. The man has designed the artwork for more than 100 of our releases, so it’s safe to say he knows the catalog very well. In Cina’s Ghostly 15 playlist, which premiered with a note from him on The 405, he highlights an array of talent from over the years.
The likes of Audion, Shigeto, Dabrye, Lusine, Tim Hecker, DJ Koze, Fort Romeau, Seth Troxler, and HTRK all appear on Ghostly 15, effectively taking the listener on a non-linear trip through the many facets of Ghostly, SMM, and Spectral Sound. It’s an extensive and engaging listen that we’re happy to call a part of our history.
Here’s what Cina had to say about his selections:
I approached it as a mixtape of sorts. I tried to find a common thread that spoke to me and create a mood around that idea. Some of my favorite tracks are not on here. JDSY “Horizon Line” makes my head spin. Choir of Young Believers “Paralyse” takes me to another place. There are so many more.
What you are hearing is some songs that have spoken to me over the years in a distinct way. I don’t feel like they are obvious choices, but they all are nothing short of amazing. I hope this compilation helps you see a different side of one of the best labels to ever do it.
1. HTRK - “Give It Up”
2. Pale Sketcher - “Plans That Fade (Faded Dub)”
3. KILN - “Rustdusk”
4. Audion - “I Am the Car”
5. The Sight Below - “At First Touch”
6. Tim Hecker - “Sundown6093”
7. Choir of Young Believers - “Claustrophobia (Peter Antlers Remix)”
8. Shigeto - “Huron River Drive”
9. Aeroc - “Playing String”
10. Dabrye - “Hyped-Up Plus Tax”
11. Lusine - “By This Sound”
12. Fort Romeau - “Your Light”
13. Osborne - “Wait a Minute (Arto Mwambé Remix)”
14. Seth Troxler - “Hurt (feat. Matthew Dear)”
15. Matthew Dear - “Elementary Lover (DJ Koze Remix)”
Since its inception in 2002, Ghostly’s SMM series has always been dedicated to the fringes of electronic music—glitch, ambient, IDM, neo-classical, noise, and beyond have their place in the collection. This is where artists like Detroit beatmaker Tadd Mullinix and San Francisco vibe specialist Christopher Willits rub elbows with KILN’s dubby soundscapes and the austere minimalism of The Sight Below. Regardless of background or style, everyone adds a unique and important perspective to the conversation. Ghostly’s 15th anniversary has prompted a fair amount of nostalgia in us this year, not the least of which is taking a look back through the history of SMM.
Perhaps the best way to explore an eclectic discography like this is with a playlist, the go-to format for siphoning large quantities of time and creativity into a bite-sized context. Our Ghostly SMM: XX playlist juxtaposes hand-picked tracks from each release in the SMM catalog, including its latest addition, Christopher Willits’ OPENING album. This selection of songs illustrates the wealth of passion, ingenuity, and taste that has helped both Ghostly and the SMM series thrive over the years. The music is available to stream in the player below, where you’ll also find the tracklist for Ghostly SMM: XX.
I: Tadd Mullinix - “Shaven Glass” (Panes, 2002)
II: Twine - “Piano” (Twine, 2003)
III: KILN - “Ghost” (Sunbox, 2004)
IV: Aeroc - “Please Go Wrong” (Viscous Solid, 2004)
V: North Valley Subconscious Orchestra - “Napali Passage” (The Right Kind of Nothing, 2006)
VI: Christopher Willits - “Colors Shifting” (Surf Boundaries, 2006)
VII: KILN - “Fyrepond” (Dusker, 2007)
VIII: Cepia - “Hoarse” (Natura Morta, 2007)
IX: Twine - “Small” (Violets, 2008)
X: The Sight Below - “The Sunset Passage” (Glider, 2008)
XI: The Sight Below - “No Place for Us (Eluvium Remix)” (Murmur EP, 2009)
XII: The Sight Below - “Burn Me Out From the Inside” (It All Falls Apart, 2010)
XIII: Christopher Willits - “The Heart Connects to the Head” (Tiger Flower Circle Sun, 2010)
XIII.2: Pale Sketcher - “Don’t Dream It (Mirage Mix)” (Jesu: Pale Sketches Demixed, 2010)
XIV: Kyle Bobby Dunn - “Runge’s Last Stand” (SMM: Context, 2011)
XV: Jacaszek - “Pod Światło” (Glimmer, 2011)
XVI: Willits + Sakamoto - “Abandoned Silence” (Ancient Future, 2012)
XVII: Heathered Pearls - “The Worship Bell” (Loyal, 2012)
XVIII: A Winged Victory for the Sullen - “Ti Prego Memory Man” (SMM: Opiate, 2013)
XIX: KILN - “Star.field” (meadow:watt, 2013)
XX: Christopher Willits - “Wide” (OPENING, 2014)