Hijak Special Bios #5 – Ghostsoul

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Rob Healey aka Ghostsoul is a producer’s producer.

You probably wouldn’t have seen him for a while because of the work he does in live sound engineering and also currently video game soundtrack development.

He’ll be coming back exclusively for this episode of Hijak for a rare showcase of his brand new sounds.  Noted for his live performances, Ghostsoul has released three extremely realised and polished albums on Hopskotch Records and Uncomfortable Beats, and is also noted for his work doing what he does best – making sound sound good.

Healey’s dub and trip-hop sounds are influenced by the world around him and his love of science and space, in making recordings he likes to view as “artifacts in the middle of nowhere”, which rather than a nihilistic view is more one recognising the beauty of all that stuff in between the gaps.

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Ghostsoul Bandcamp:  ghostsoul.bandcamp.com
Ghostsoul Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/ghostsoul
Ghostsoul Facebook:  facebook.com/ghostsoul

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HIJAK – LABOR DAY SPECIAL – SUNDAY 15 MARCH @ GRUMPY’S

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Saturday 22 February – The Lowdown Hoedown

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So we assume you’d like to know where the location of this event is?

First, allow us to tell you a little about why we decided to do an outdoor event. Or just scroll through the rant and check out the location at the bottom.

I was raised in northern NSW, which had a very strong outdoor electronic music scene. Unfortunately, this scene was extremely one-dimensional. You could only play certain kinds of psytrance, or at best, certain kinds of “glitch-hop”.

Note I place inverted commas there, as the majority of Australian content produced tends to be downtempo melodic electronic funk, based around similar melody structures to psytrance. This deviates from the originators like Prefuse 73, and has absolutely nothing to do with actual hip-hop.

Anyway, where were we?

There was very little chance of any other form of electronica getting on the program of NNSW, but this never stopped my notion there were plenty of other ways to create synergy with an outdoor atmosphere through electronic music.

Now I live in Melbourne, where a lot of possibilities have been generated in recent times from such festivals as Let Them Eat Cake and Earth.

Together with my fellow conspirators Warpa!nt (of Lowkey) and Rolex Bifta (of Rogue Magnetic Sound), we aim to present a showcase that is more in touch with contemporary urban sounds and representative of Melbourne’s electronic music scene, except conducted in a way that has a better feel on the outdoor tip.

How do we intend to do this, you say?

We are going to focus on drum and bass, hip-hop instrumental off-shoots, ghetto tek and house, and deep dubstep, of which we think are more valid electronically in Melbourne’s urban climate of who we are and what kind of sounds really drive us.

To get this job done the way we envision it, we’ve gathered a 100% local line-up of people you hear playing around the city on a weekly basis, representative of all those different sounds you hear laced through all your favourite town bars.

We’ll also be playing this through the very awesome full Rogue Magnetic Sound rig, which packs a whopping 10k of soundwaves. There’s no residencies for miles around, so I doubt the cops will have reason to complain and will let us have our right to play. We’ll also be shutting down before midnight in consideration of native fauna.

We’ll be placing all of this in Warrigal Park in Heidelberg, close to the Heidelberg Cricket Club. We’ll let you work out how to get there, or you can figure out how to contact me if you have any further questions about the party.

Bring fun stuff to do (hoops, juggling balls, frisbees, etc), your own grog (no glass if you can help it), cushions to place your bum on, and an open and positive mind to electronic music possibilities. There’s also a river nearby, so bring some togs and a towel, and we should hopefully have some BBQ food on site too, and also face painting being done.

See you there! Let’s recreate the term “doof” 😀

2-11pm, Outdoor Location TBA, By Donation (suggested $10 to cover our costs).

FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/588610204552707/

Written by Kristian Hatton.

Hi-Five: Melbourne’s Producers/DJs and Their Current Favourite Track – Part 3

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Selector #11 – Kurk Kokane

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Kurk Kokane has embraced big-room party bass music like Noisia and Flux Pavilion in 2010, which opened up a whole new world for him. Since then, he has produced worked alongside so-said artists, as well as many other big names in the newer bass music game.

More recently, Kurt has embraced the trap genre within production and DJing, and has played up and down the east coast of Australia, continuing to develop and evolve into his branch of interest within electronica, and working with all the right people to get the job done.

Track Selection: Clams Casino – One Last Thing (White Label)

“Finally a producer with a new vision in hip-hop – know one is doing it like this guy , taking trill to a new level – original outstanding instrumentals that have now been recognised all over the world as an evolution in music.”

Selector #12 – Kayhat

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Kayhat is your friendly neighbourhood music journalist and director/owner of Haarp Media, involved with the all-inclusive Neigh-bours super-click, organising small events such as Haapy Mondays, DJs at many smaller venues, and takes himself far too seriously in a narcissistic third-person voice.

He takes localism and community seriously too, and kids himself into thinking that perhaps one day people will embrace art, community and locality over consumption, illusion and big names.

Track Selection: Junior Boys – Like A Child (Carl Craig Remix)

“Good music never dies, and this has been my opener the couple of times I’ve brought out my wax. Carl Craig remixes this masterfully and progressively, never forcing anything. I wish 99% more of 4-4 artists would go back to the values of writing a fucking good composition that goes somewhere and gets you emotionally involved. Vox rock my socks!”

Selector #13 – Ghostsoul

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Ghostsoul aka Rob Healey is part of Uncomfortable Beats, a local unit specialising in Australian niche beats. As a producer, Rob has a sound refreshing and unique, which has accumulated thus far in the release of recently released album Celestial Artifacts, a musical rumination of trip-hop, contemporary production sensibilities, sci-fi, space dust and alien transmissions.

Track Selection: Boards of Canada – Palace Posy (Warp Records)

“…a strange piece, the melodic style and strange use of vocals draw me to it.”

Selector #14 – James Annesley

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James Annesley heads Melbourne’s #1 atmospheric electronic jazz improv group, Virtual Proximity. VP create a subliminal vibe with their array of technolgy, ranging from wind-driven MIDI devices to hand control-operated visual spectacular.

Last year, James and his fellows embarked on a successful project to overhaul a gigantic pipe organ and turn it into a gigantic MIDI-driven device.

Track Selection: Actress – Silver Cloud Dream Come True (Werkdiscs)

“…makes me feel like I’m travelling very slowly through space on a magic carpet made of LSD.”

Selector #15 – Angus Green

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Angus Green has had a lot of success as an electronic artist in his young career. In 2010, Angus started producing on Ableton Live, and then moved to Melbourne, where he became influenced by the glitch-hop bass movement. Within a couple of months, he was picked up by Adapted Records, who helped him release a Beatport and Addictech chart-topping EP entitled Storm Warning.

Since then, Angus has released on many independent labels, and was also recently nominated by the UK Glitch-Hop Awards as “best up and coming artist”.

Track Selection: Wave Racer – Stoopid (Future Classic)

“It influences me because unlike a lot of music, it’s just fun (with) no bullshit.”

Compiled by Kristian Hatton.

Album Review: Ghostsoul – Celestial Artifacts (Uncomfortable Beats)

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Melbourne artist Ghostsoul’s pay-as-you-please full-length album Celestial Artifacts on Uncomfortable Beats has been released today.

It features Myla Vinyl, Wyldcard and Bellz, and continues to refine Ghostsoul’s sci-fi concepts of dead planets and alien transmissions. The album itself is more carefully considered and contains more emotive content than the majority of electronic releases, and could well be a stand-out landmark album for the Australian scene.

Stand-out track ‘Burning Lungs’ evokes deep-seeded emotive qualities with guest vocalist Myla Vinyl (originally from the UK), and the comparisons are sure to fly between this track and shades of Massive Attack and Portishead.

I really like how guests Wyldcard and Bellz were used as guests in this album too in the deep, ethereal and glitched-out track ‘Stepping in Dark Night’. Ghostsoul programs their voices to make them heard like insubstantial transmissions floating through space.

Reduxes of tracks like ‘The Opening Dusk’ (originally featured on Broken Symmetry) and ‘Gutter Smash’, which normally wouldn’t work for me as remixes within a new album, but are originally retaken and adhere to the overall aesthetic of Celestial Artifacts.

All in all, this album is a masterfully executed and subdued work that uses understated elements to get its message across, rather than relying on cheap whomps and embellishments that way too many producers fall back to. This contemporary work of trip-hop is not something I’ve heard since early UK 90’s releases, and I’m predicting other critics will also be raving too once they get wind of this.

A fantastic story of personal and universal evolution from one of Melbourne’s more underrated producers.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3311556764/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/notracklist=true/transparent=true/

Link: Ghostsoul interview and album launch

Written by Kristian Hatton.

Thursday 12 December – Ghostsoul: ‘Celestial Artifacts’ Album Launch. EXCLUSIVE interview with Ghostsoul.

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This week Melbourne producer Ghostsoul is releasing his first full-length album, entitled Celestial Artifacts. It is being released by Uncomfortable Beats, a tight-knit group of producers and DJs working to establish Australian producers of hip-hop related beats to a global audience keen on niche beats art.

32 year old Rob Healey aka Ghostsoul met up with me at Black Cat, a small but iconic bar on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.

The Black Cat has been the breeding ground for a plethora of quality listening music produced by some of Melbourne, Australia’s finest artists. It’s also been the monthly home of Uncomfortable Beats events, known locally for their warm intimate vibes and as a place for local producers, DJs and friends to get together and network.

Healey says of Uncomfortable Beats that “I feel most comfortable with working with Dave (Di Paolo – Owner of Uncomfortable Beats and producer/DJ as Able8), we all have set roles in the crews and are all good friends. We all bounce ideas off each other.”

Healey and Di Paolo met in Melbourne at a residency they shared at the now-defunct Miss Libertine’s venue, but both originally came from Perth.

Rob’s history in Perth as an electronic musician started twelve years ago as a result of being around live band musicians, and he was also influenced by living with a drummer friend who set up a studio in their house.

“I started using a Roland MC505, chopped up funky breaks and used a lot of in-built synths. There were lots of cool bands around Perth like the Fascist Fair-Go party, who done sort of rock/funk/reggae, which influenced me. I also went to a lot of drum and bass parties.”

Healey evolved as a producer and got involved in underground warehouse parties, where he worked as part of a duo called Scratch Foundations, where he got to showcase his brand of breaks and develop his ideas.

Rob moved to Melbourne in 2006, where he later begun studies at RMIT to study his degree in sound production, finishing in 2010.

“I highly recommend that particular degree to anyone looking to get into sound.”

His goal was to work as a sound engineer, which he has now achieved as a goal. Unlike other engineers, he passionately loves his work.

“I’m so thankful for the opportunities I receive and it teaches me more about the realm of sounds all the time. Sound is a conscious object and there is so much to it, you can spend your whole life dedicated to it and only scratch the surface.”

During this time studying, Rob created his concept for Ghostsoul as a creative idea, and as a consciously-evoked plan to float his new music and production.

“I wanted Ghostsoul to be a sort of disembodied character, floating around in space as something sensed rather than seen. Life is pretty meaningless, but the beauty of it is that we all have the option of creating our own meaning with it. I also regard myself as a ghost outside of the scene these days.”

When asked in regards to if he preferred set systems over innovation and spontaneity, Rob replied that “in order for anything to come to fruition, there has to be a set plan of what you wish to achieve first”, which seemed to me a juxtaposition in that Rob had created a solid shadow of substance in Ghostsoul, rather than an insubstantial idea.

Ghostsoul self-released his first EP Broken Symmetry in 2011 as a limited release CD, and played regularly at smaller venues all over Melbourne.

“The Melbourne beats community as I know it is groups of loosely associated friends who are in it for the creativity rather than actual money. (laughs) I mean, let’s be honest, there’s not much money in it.”

This release was followed up by one on Hopskotch Records with EP Caught in the Unreal, which continued his travel into ethereal and clean hip-hop instrumental and reggae-infused beats, and continued to polish his production concept.

Now Ghostsoul is launching his first full-length album Celestial Artifacts this Thursday at the Worker’s Club in Fitzroy. The title is suggestive of Rob’s love of science fiction and his (rather nihilistic) life philosophy, which is yet evocative of life obtusely clinging on in the middle of nowhere.

“(Celestial Artifacts) is trying to encapsulate that sense of bits of dust floating through the universe, which contain transmissions of life as it was on dead planets far away.”

Come and judge for yourself as Rob and fellow Melbournian producers Forsue and Able8, and interstate acts Ribongia (Sydney) and How Green (Adelaide – appearing for his first time in Melbourne) will complete the Uncomfortable Beats’ team line-up for the Celestial Artifacts launch.

7pm-12am. The Workers Club, 51-55 Gertrude StFitzroy. $10/20 with copy of Celestial Artifacts.

FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/474331862679605

Written by Kristian Hatton.