Ghostly International is a multi-platform cultural curator, a tightly knit aesthetic universe fulfilling the roles of art gallery, design house, clothing designer, technology innovator, music-publishing company—and, yes, record label—in one. In the years since its birth in 1999, Ghostly has grown from a boutique label known for its experimental-pop and -techno acumen to an internationally recognized platform for the work of the world's best visual artists, designers, technologists, and musicians.
And what does Ghostly sound like? "Genre-less" was a term thrown about a good bit in the early days, and that idea still holds true: Ghostly's music—all of its artistic output, really—gracefully straddles (or else entirely ignores) stylistic divisions, transcending musty categories like "electronic", "pop", "house", or "techno" and carving out a space in which sounds and ideas can cavort without inhibition. The label itself is twofold: Ghostly International's output falls under the heading of "avant-pop"—nominally, music of electronic means and pop methodology, but encompassing much more—and sibling label Spectral Sound, Ghostly's dance-music imprint.
Ghostly's current roster is vast and its alumni are many, but an abridged list of label's artistry ranges from the darkly playful electronic pop of Matthew Dear (label co-founder and head of Spectral Sound) to the glitchy, tribal shoegaze of Brooklyn's School of Seven Bells, from the reality-bending hip-hop of Dabrye to the sky-high orchestral anthems of Denmark's Choir of Young Believers to the rainy-day minimalism of The Sight Below. Collaborators have included Adult., Doom, Flying Lotus, J Dilla, Jesu, Lawrence, Legowelt, and countless others. Ghostly's visual presence is as distinctive as its music, defined primarily by the work of on-staff designers/fine artists Michael Cina and Will Calcutt.
To define Ghostly International would only be to limit it. Always evolving, always incorporating new sounds and new facets to its cultural identity, Ghostly still maintains its bottom line: to bring great art to people with open eyes and open ears.