By Zeb Resman
Anyone who regularly watches Adult Swim knows that they love music. From the beats that pulsate through its commercials, to music-related shows like “Metalocalypse,” to its endorsement and support on albums by the likes of DANGERDOOM and Peanut Butter Wolf, it always seems to seek out music that’s a perfect soundtrack to its programming. Now, Adult Swim has partnered with the cutting-edge Michigan label Ghostly International to release “Ghostly Swim,” a compilation that’s available as a free download.
“We’d been talking [with Adult Swim] for a bit about music for their ‘bumps’ in-between shows,” says Sam Valenti, founder of Ghostly International. “It made sense to take it further for a full collaboration.”
The eclectic compilation includes nineteen tracks from Ghostly’s impressive roster including Matthew Dear, Dabrye and Kill Memory Crash, as well as friends and respected artists of Ghostly like Dark Party and FLYamSAM. So far, the comp has been very well-received.
“We’ve gotten a lot of love from places like Wired and Coolhunting,” Valenti says. “More importantly, we have a fairly vocal fan base who we listen to, and they love it. If they like it or not, we know for sure.”
Another artist featured on Ghostly Swim is Michigan’s own Todd Osborn, better known as just Osborne (with an “e”). As one of Ghostly’s best and brightest, he’s churned out several releases of his own brand-name house and techno. But besides being a world-class producer, Osborne has a variety of hobbies and other interests that keep him pretty occupied. These include building a hovercraft, flying planes and building his own computers, which he uses to create his music.
“Like they say: jack-of-all-trades, master of none,” Osborne says. “I may get into a lot of different things but I only learn enough to complete whatever goal I have in mind. I’m easily bored and it seems that a lot of projects interrelate in odd ways. As I work on one thing; project, music, whatever, it usually gives me an idea for something else or helps me to complete a similar project.”
Osborne’s track “Wait a Minute” is included on “Ghostly Swim.” “It was a track I had finished around the time Ghostly was talking to Adult Swim,” he explains. “Sam [Valenti] asked if they could use it. They heard it and thought it would fit in.”
In addition to contributing to the compilation, Osborne’s first full-length album was recently released on Ghostly International. The self-titled album explores the progression of Osborne’s music by including tracks that are both new and old.
“I’m always making a variety of tracks, and Sam picked out a few that he liked,” Osborne says while explaining how the album came to be. “This was combined with some of my previous twelve-inch tracks to make up the LP. I always make tracks solely on their own, meaning I never think of how other tracks will relate to one another. Afterwards, I can listen to them and get a sense of how they might go together but really I don’t like doing that in the first place. I’m much happier having, say, a twelve-inch with three or four totally different types of tracks that don’t relate to one another at all.”
Even with the new album, there are no signs of slowing down for Osborne, who plans on putting out several twelve-inch releases for Ghostly as well as several other labels. And as for Ghostly International, Sam Valenti seems content with Ghostly Swim, but says that they’ve got more partnerships lined up for the future as well. “For now this is it, but a deluxe version of [Ghostly Swim] will be out on CD this fall. We [also] have some great collaborations with other brands coming soon.” No doubt, they’ll be just as good.
Osborne performs live, with Michna and a DJ set from Kill Memory Crash for Ghostly Swim at Sonotheque, 1444 West Chicago, (312)226-7600, May 15 at 9pm. No cover.