- Matthew Dear
Most label bosses who are deemed "eclectic" are mere dilettantes, throwing whatever they hope will be popular against the wall and praying that something sticks. By contrast, Ghostly International's eclecticism springs from a keen knowledge of the upper-echelon artists among many styles.
Run by Sam Valenti IV, the Ann Arbor, Michigan company has swiftly risen to global prominence with releases appealing to a broad range of DJs and home-listening intelligentsia alike. The Cleveland lineup presents something for almost everybody. Kill Memory Crash rehabilitates industrial-dance music for the new millennium -- a phrase we thought we'd never find reason to write. Dykehouse does the same for shoegazer rock, but with a John-Hughes-movie cheesiness that makes us cry "Hush, puppy!" Dabrye (Tadd Mullinix) puts a glitched-up and absurdly lush spin on hip-hop, impressing everyone from IDM geeks to Prefuse 73 to Slum Village's Jay Dee (who appears on Dabrye's new single, "Game Over"). Finally, there's Matthew Dear, the Detroit producer who fuses Perlon Records-style minimal groove science to electro-pop songcraft. His new Backstroke mini-album builds on the hypnotic "tech-house-you-can-sing-along-to" template that Dear laid down on last year's instant classic, Leave Luck to Heaven. Which is where you may think you've gone during this show.