Ghostwerk may not be a household name just yet but at only 20 years old, this prodigious, young talent from Las Vegas is quietly asserting himself as a leader in the sphere of contemporary IDM. Drawing from footwork, breakcore, 2-step, hip-hop and lounge-electronica, Ghostwerk has developed a distinctive style of crisp, sample-driven production that balances youthful exuberance with veteran composure and tact. Following several digital EP and mixtape releases, the prolific experimental electronic label Detroit Underground has picked up Ghostwerk’s LP ‘SHADOW CULTURE’ for digital/physical release.
Although Ghostwerk was not around during the peak of the 90’s module tracker scene, the Internet has allowed him to re-trigger its enthusiasm for nostalgic sampling and open collaboration. He has found like-minded peers in artists such as Merck Records alumni Machinedrum and ilkae as well as fellow 90’s IDM aficionado Zachary Gray. On Soundcloud and various producer forums, these artists bonded by sharing stems and cutting remixes of each other, channeling their appreciation for the 90’s tracker scenes that birthed this collaborative (and competitive) approach to electronic production.
With ‘SHADOW CULTURE’, Ghostwerk makes his ethereal presence known, particularly on the one-two punch of “VALLEY VIEW” and “KILIK BREAK WEB,” two tracks that introduce the album with cerebral, downtempo atmospheres, juke rhythms and manic breaks. Ghostwerk notes that the track order is “intended to give a sense of mania that slowly eases into a more depressive state as the release progresses.” We hear this progression through the dark, jittery and jungle-y “FADE ME” into “OPEN YR MIND’s” melancholic chill-step and the ethereal glitch-hop interlude “29.” The effect is that of looking back at your own shadow, remembering your ghostly past through a veil of despondent reverie.
‘SHADOW CULTURE’ files nicely alongside Detroit Underground’s catalogue of ‘out-there’ IDM, futurist techno and ‘data-club’ and should help Ghostwerk reach a wider audience of glitch-heads. At such a young age, he’s got nothing but time and it wouldn’t be surprising to see his name among the ranks of Machinedrum, Lone or µ-Ziq in years to come. Get spooky and stream/buy ‘SHADOW CULTURE’ below: