Tag Archives: Ghost

New Joint – King Latts

King Latts – “Receptordon” (@RecordsReceptor / 2021)

Combined Mentalz member King Latts has “one-dimensional emcees” in his sights over atmospheric beats from veteran producer Ghost, who was also responsible for shooting this video via his Storyboard Visuals set-up.

100 Best Albums & EPs Of 2016 (Part Three) – Meyhem Lauren / J-Zone / Ghost etc.

Check Part One and Part Two.

Meyhem Lauren – “Piatto D’Oro” (Fools Gold Records) – Backed by production from beat kings such as Large Professor, DJ Muggs and The Alchemist, Queens, NY resident Meyhem Lauren continued to play his part in 2016 to ensure traditional rough, rugged and raw Rotten Apple rap stayed alive, with “Piatoo D’Oro” providing the perfect theme music for Timberland-and-Polo fiends across the globe.

meyhem-cover

Si Phili – “The 11th Hour” (Phoenix Recordings) – Having already made an indelible mark on the UK Hip-Hop scene as a member of Phi Life Cypher, Luton lyricist Si Phili approached his debut solo album with both the experience of a seasoned mic vet and the hunger of a new artist with a point to prove. Featuring talented producers such as Pete Cannon, Leaf Dog and Richy Spitz, “The 11th Hour” found Phili unleashing a relentless barrage of intense wordplay, covering a variety of topics in the process.

phili-cover

The Game – “1992” (Blood Money Entertainment) – Strip away the rap beefs, personal dramas and industry politics that have surrounded The Game’s career over the years and one thing remains undeniable – Jayceon Terrell Taylor can definitely rhyme. This concept-based project found the former Aftermath emcee revisiting early-90s Los Angeles via personal, descriptive verses with respectful nods to West Coast icons such as Ice-T, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. Compton is still in the house!

game-cover

J-Zone – “Fish-N-Grits” (J-Zone.BandCamp.Com) – Never afraid to tell-it-how-it-is, NYC’s multi-talented J-Zone once again offered listeners the opportunity to see the world through his own unique perspective on his latest full-length release, combining sharp observational humour with funky beats and Rotten Apple attitude. Dealing with topics such as rap’s generational debate, hipsters and gentrification, “Fish-N-Grits” was the perfect sonic antidote for the non-stop b.s. pushed daily from both the underground and mainstream Hip-Hop scenes. As Zone himself says, there’s only two types of music, good and bad.

j-zone-cover

Royce 5’9 – “Layers” (Bad Half Entertainment) – Lead by the autobiographical brilliance of the S1-produced “Tabernacle”, Detroit veteran Royce’s sixth solo album was arguably his best body of work to date. Filled with unflinching honesty, sly wit and well-honed rhyme skills, “Layers” was a fitting title for a project which gave the listener further insight into the life of the man behind the mic.

royce-cover

Akil The MC – “Sound Check” (AkilTheMC.BandCamp.Com) – Jurassic 5 member Akil filled this solo album with hard-hitting motivational music delivered in his traditional true-school style, effectively balancing his back-in-the-day roots with a present-day passion for the microphone.

akil-cover

Mikey D’Struction – “Day Of D’Struction” (Elements Of Hip-Hop) – Largely produced by Russia’s Ligalize, this album from Queens legend Mikey D found the veteran emcee avoiding the temptation of trying to fit in with current rap trends in order to appeal to a wider audience, choosing instead to stick to his sonic guns, delivering sharp, battle-ready rhymes over hardcore, speaker-rattling beats.

mikey-d-cover

Black Josh – “Ape Tape” (BlahRecords,BandCamp.Com) – After first listening to Josh’s “Ape Tape” EP, one word came to mind – vibes! Boasting an organic, impromptu feel, this thoroughly entertaining release featured the UK artist lacing varied production with his sharp Manchester wit, politically-incorrect sense of humour and honest inner-city observations.

ape-tape-cover

Torae – “Entitled” (Internal Affairs Entertainment) – Backed by a successful Kickstarter campaign, this album from Brooklyn emcee Torae satisfied loyal fans by delivering the consistently high-standard of lyricism we’ve come to expect from the NY representative with quality production from heavy-hitters such as Pete Rock, DJ Premier and Nottz.

torae-cover

Elzhi – “Lead Poison” (Glow 365) – After a five year hiatus and release date delays, Detroit’s Elzhi finally returned with an album that played like a sonic therapy session for the former Slum Village member, who had been battling with depression during the recording of the project. Clever, introspective and creative, “Lead Poison” showcased the results of a naturally gifted artist dealing with life’s problems through his pad and pen.

elzhi-cover

Ruste Juxx & Kyo Itachi – “Meteorite” (Shinigamie Records) – Bolstered by the impeccable production of France’s Kyo Itachi, former Sean Price protégé Ruste Juxx went intergalactic like a Timberland-wearing Silver Surfer on this rugged gem of an album, transmitting direct from the planet of Brooklyn accompanied by Illa Noyz, Bankai Fam’s Skanks and Rock of Heltah Skeltah.

meteorite-cover

Ghost – “Shards Of Memories” (Ghost.BandCamp.Com) – Ambitiously bridging the gap between the UK-raised, Australia-based producer’s underground Hip-Hop roots and his desire to craft something that reached beyond the traditional sound of dusty drums and head-nodding loops, “Shards Of Memories” was an impressive effort which was both polished and well-executed whilst also managing to retain a spontaneous, unpredictable edge.

ghost-cover1

Trace Motivate – “Bored, Lonely And Possibly Intoxicated” (TraceMotivate.BandCamp.Com) – Stepping beyond the aggressive,  competition-crushing rhymes heard on releases from his group Grindhouse Project, Canada’a Trace Motivate offered personal reflection and honest life observations on this six-track concept-based release.

trace-motivate-cover

Tribe Of Judah – “Organically Grown” (Gravity Academy Records) – Maryland’s Tribe Of Judah mixed political commentary and social observation with street-savvy Hip-Hop bravado on their impressive Tokyo Cigar-produced debut album.

tribe-of-judah-cover

Rapsody – “Crown” (Jamla / Roc Nation) – Inspiring and passionate, North Carolina’s first lady of the mic Rapsody was on a mission to motivate her listeners with “Crown”, encouraging the younger generation in particular to reach for their goals via forthright rhymes delivered over soulful production from 9th Wonder, Nottz and Khrysis.

rapsody-cover

PhybaOptikz – “Shades Of Alejandro” (PhybaOptikz.BandCamp.Com) – London’s PhybaOptikz delivered a smooth, atmospheric concept album under the guise of his alter-ego Alejandro, showcasing the UK producer-on-the-mic getting busy over an ill selection of hypnotic loops with assistance from Crate Divizion comrades Giallo Point and Vic Grimes.

shades-cover

Arkatek & KelpiNINE – “Master Builder” (ArkatekMusic.BandCamp.Com) – Atlanta-based wordsmith Arkatek encouraged listeners to bring their third-eye vision into focus via well-crafted verses over drum-heavy production from KelpiNINE on this US / Ukraine collabo project.

arkatek-cover

K Zorro & Bad Company – “Deferred Gratification” (NewGuardzOnline.BandCamp.Com) – Talented London emcee K Zorro dropped intelligent, captivating verses over atmospheric production from musical ally Bad Company on this collaborative project which was both streetwise and socially-aware.

k-zorro-cover

Sebastian Hochstein – “Name Dropping” (Illect.BandCamp.Com) – German producer Sebastian Hochstein called on the likes of Jurassic 5’s Chali 2na, Sadat X and Scribbling Idiots to provide lyrical support on this impressive EP, a release which was rooted in a dusty, sample-based sound.

name-dropping-cover

Tha God Fahim & Giallo Point – “Eyes Of War” (Crate Divizion) – Atlanta’s Fahim spat righteous rawness over the brilliant, gripping production of UK music man Giallo Point on this quality Crate Divizion release.

eyes-of-war-cover

Part Four coming soon.

New Joint – Ghost

Ghost – “Golden Age” (@GhostWMusic / 2016)

Macapella-produced boom-bap from the Scottish emcee’s “Joker’s Ledger” EP.

New Joint – Ghost

Ghost – “Colour Of Life” (@MusicByGhost / 2016)

Jazzy flavour from the UK-raised, Australia-based producer’s recent “Shards Of Memories” album.

New Joint – Ghost / Benny Diction

Ghost ft. Benny Diction – “Lost In Transit” (@MusicByGhost / @BennyDiction_UK / 2016)

Emotive beats and rhymes from talented producer Ghost’s recently-released album “Shards Of Memories”.

New Joint – Ghost

Ghost – “Worship” (@MusicByGhost / 2016)

Captivating instrumental vibes from the veteran producer’s new album “Shards Of Memories”.

Shards Of Memories Album Stream – Ghost

ghost cover

Raised in the UK but now residing in Australia, producer Ghost drops his fourth long-player in the form of “Shards Of Memories”, an ambitious project which mixes traditional boom-bap flavours with the music man’s eclectic creative palette.

Peep my review of the album here.

Album Review – Ghost

ghost cover

Ghost

Shards Of Memories”

(Ghost.BandCamp.Com)

Almost ten years to the day since the release of his debut album “Seldom Seen Often Heard”, April 18th sees UK-raised, now Australia-based producer Ghost dropping his fourth long-player, “Shards Of Memories”.

First making his mark at the turn of the millennium as a deejay on London’s then pirate Hip-Hop radio station Itch FM, Ghost soon made the jump from playing records to releasing them, with his 2003 EP “Ghost Stories” immediately becoming something of a homegrown cult classic thanks to its straight-from-the-crates, sample-based production, plus features from a new wave of UK talent who’d emerged in the early-2000s, including Kashmere, Asaviour and Verb T.

Whilst 2006’s “Seldom Seen…” built on the sonic foundations laid by that initial EP release, Ghost’s further two albums, “Freedom Of Thought” (2009) and “Postcards From The Edge” (2010), found the talented music man pushing his creative boundaries, with “Postcards…” going so far as to be completely sample-free,  showcasing Ghost taking a step towards the musical worlds of electronica and dubstep (a decision which no doubt confused some original fans whilst bringing new supporters onboard at the same time).

As Ghost’s return to the musical arena, “Shards Of Memories” ambitiously (yet successfully) bridges the gap between the producer’s underground Hip-Hop roots and his desire to craft something that reaches beyond the scene’s traditional sound of dusty drums and head-nodding loops.

Yes, Ghost is extremely competent and able when it comes to delivering standard boom-bap beats, he just doesn’t want to only be known for that.

The opening “Who Do I” features British emcee Kal Sereousz pondering life decisions over crashing drums, whilst the atmospheric “Cold” finds Four Owls member Verb T switching lyrical gears with ease, utilising an engaging double-time flow over a striking blend of sombre strings and sparse beats.

“The Colour Of Life”, the first of three instrumental tracks here, is a piano-laced symphony of live musicianship, which builds into an intense wall of sound that effectively highlights Ghost’s sonic mastery and vision.

Australian rhyme vet Brad Strut lends his precise wordplay to the punchy “Where You Been”, and the Cappo-assisted title track breathes new life into the classic Bob James “Nautilus” break, with the Nottingham artist proving yet again why he should be considered one of the most gifted and consistent emcees of his generation.

The melancholy jazz swing  of “Still Here” provides Prose emcee Efeks with the perfect soundscape over which to deliver his personal struggles of life as an independent artist, whilst the instrumental “O.S.T.” more than lives up to its title, with the track’s mix of gritty guitar, frantic drums and triumphant horns evoking images of scenes from a 70s crime flick.

An impressive effort which is both polished and well-executed whilst managing to retain a spontaneous, unpredictable edge, “Shards Of Memories” is the sound of a confident producer embracing his original Hip-Hop influences as he also continues to allow himself to grow through his music.

If you don’t already, this is one Ghost you really should believe in.

Ryan Proctor

Shards Of Memories Album Trailer – Ghost

UK-raised, Australia-based producer Ghost celebrates the ten year anniversary of his debut album “Seldom Seen Often Heard” with the release of a new project featuring Verb T, Joker Starr, Benny Diction and more.

New Joint – Areyz & Amin Payne

Aeryz & Amin Payne – “What’s Wrong Witchu” (@MCAeryz /2013)

New visuals from the New Zealand / Australian duo directed by UK transplant and talented producer in his own right Ghost.

Golden Age Remix Series Volume 1 Download – Ghost

golden age cover

Talented producer Ghost delivers his own interpretation of two 90s favourites from Nine and Lord Finesse with the first in his “Golden Age Remixes” series – download here.

Best Kept Secrets Album Trailer – Ghost

Online snippets trailer for UK producer Ghost’s forthcoming album “Best Kept Secrets” featuring unreleased material from 2006 – 2010 with appearances from Kashmere, Micall Parknsun, Dubbledge and Genesis Elijah.

Old To The New Q&A – Asaviour

asaviour-4.jpg

Born and raised in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, emcee / producer Asaviour has spent the last decade on a constant grind to reach the upper echelons of the UK rap game. Debuting back in 1999 on fellow Northerner Jehst’s first release “Premonitions”, the wily wordsmith has amassed an impressive discography, collaborating with a long list of Brit-Hop figures such as Ghost, Braintax, Tommy Evans and Kyza.

2006 saw Asaviour’s hard work pay off with Low Life Records releasing his full-length project “The Borrowed Ladder”, an album that fully captured Savvy’s artistic potential, combining his unapologetic Northern delivery with off-the-wall humour, worldly subject matter and true-school beats.

Having recently released the “Play 2 Win Vol. 2” mix-CD, Asaviour is now ready to embark on the next stage of his musical journey. With the long-awaited “A-Loop Theory” album with UK production heavyweight DJ IQ dropping soon, and his own “Next Skool Klassics” project in the pipeline, 2008 looks set to be a busy year for the multi-talented individual.

Old To The New caught up with Asaviour recently to get a sneak preview of what to expect from his next wave of material.

What made you decide to drop another mix CD before putting out your second ‘proper’ album?

I guess it was because of the development I’ve made since my last album. I wanted to put some material out there that people might not have heard from the past, plus stuff I’ve been doing with other artists, and I also wanted to prepare people for the onslaught DJ IQ and I have been working on, which is our album “The A-Loop Theory”.

So how do you feel you’ve developed as an artist since “The Borrowed Ladder”?

I’ve moved on in leaps and bounds. Don’t get me wrong, “The Borrowed Ladder” represents my development into a proper solo artist and I’m proud of that album, but I also learnt so much while making it, both as a writer and a producer. My vision is a lot less polarized nowadays. I’m trying to draw on as many influences as I can and I’ve learnt to be myself more in my music by working with sounds and tempos I’m into rather than what I think the scene will be into. I’m going against the grain a little bit more now and feel comfortable taking risks.

DJ IQ ft. Asaviour – “Kaleidoscopes & Tightropes” (Mancan Music / 2006)

What can people expect from the “A-Loop Theory” album you’ve recorded with DJ IQ and when are you planning to put it out?

Well at first “A – Loop” was me just getting a little bored and experimenting by wanting to make tracks bigger than just drums and an eight bar loop. It was me developing my playing and sampling techniques, learning about chords and progressions, stuff like that.

IQ and myself often work together gigging and at the time we were touring with Jehst. We’d all play each other beats on the way to shows, we were both into each other’s sound, and we’d talk about how to improve each other’s beats. After a while we were like ‘Let’s combine some of this sh*t as these beats really complement each other.’ Then we started to make a few tracks and the whole concept started to come together. The lyrics and guests on the album kinda fell into place due to the tracks having such a strong identity.

I guess what you can expect from the album is change and a fresh twist on sh*t, so to speak. The album’s roots are in Hip-Hop but you can expect us to slide into genres like rock, electro, jazz, grime, soul, blues etc. We’ve brought in some really talented musicians to play on the album, so you’ll hear violins, violas, trumpets, electric guitars, keys and vocalists. I’ve tried to inject a variety of emotions into the album in terms of my lyrics and I’m always gonna try to find new angles to approach subjects from. We’ve just tried to make good music really.

We’re looking to have it out by summer and we’re at the contract stage now. We’ve got interest from a few labels and one of them is a new kid on the block in terms of UK labels but it’s an exciting possibility. We’re really just trying to get the best deal possible. So if there’s any labels with money interested then gimme a shout! Let’s do lunch (laughs).

play-2-win-cd-cover-2.jpg

Talk about the “Next Skool Klassiks” project you’ve also been working on . Who’ll be featured on there and is it just yourself handling production?

Well the title is just me being a little cocky I suppose. It’s basically just a statement of intent. The album is me looking towards the future of music from the UK and just trying to develop and push my sound forward.

I’m just making my mark in my own way. To be honest I don’t really wanna give away too much on this one as it’s all about “Play To Win 2” and “The A -Loop Theory” right now, but you can expect a mixed bag of tricks with some names you might expect and some you most definitely won’t. My approach to “Next Skool Klassiks” has been more from a music producer’s point of view rather than just a Hip Hop standpoint.

Even though you’re known primarily as an emcee do you feel it’s important for you to establish yourself as a producer as well?

Yeah I’m mainly known as an emcee but I reckon I only started rhyming about six or seven months before I started making beats. The thing is, writing rhymes costs f**k all, you just need a pen, pad and some brain cells. To make beats, however, you need equipment. I got a little break a while back when I was in college and a teacher let me f**k about in the studio when no-one was around. I learnt how to use a sampler and that was the beginning of me making beats. I wasn’t a music student though so it wasn’t easy to get studio time.

Eventually I got together the money to buy a second-hand Akai S1 and an Atari. I got a copy of Cubase from Jehst, which allowed me to make beats at my yard. Through the years I learnt about digging and different tricks in sampling. I bought and sold equipment to improve what I was working with. I had some sh*t stolen and had to buy new sh*t, plus I studied music technology at university and also learnt a bit about musical theory, which all helped get me to the point I’m at now.

Production’s just something I’ve been doing pretty much as long as I’ve been rhyming, but it’s a side of me people haven’t heard that much of yet. Hopefully peeps will feel what I’m cooking up.

If you could only take three UK Hip-Hop albums to a desert island what would they be and why?

Ah man! Can’t I just take like an 800 gig Ipod or some sh*t? These questions are impossible and please bear in mind my choice may change in the next thirty seconds (laughs). But it’d be Task Force’s “New Mic Order”, London Posse’s “Gangster Chronicle” and Asaviour & DJ IQ’s “The A-Loop Theory”.

Ryan Proctor

Ghost Interview (Originally Posted On UKHH.Com Feb 27th 2008)

ghost-close-up-3.jpg

If you spend more time than is probably healthy reading Hip-Hop-related interviews on the internet, you’ll already know that you could bet your collection of rare rap singles on the likelihood of your favourite emcee, deejay and / or producer using at least one or more of the stock phrases that nowadays appear to be industry-standard responses during said Q&As. You’ll hear MC Kill-A-Man talking about how he’s “keeping it real”, DJ Radio Payola will insist his show is all about “what the streets want”, and Mr. I’ve-Only-Been-Making-Beats-Since-I-Got-A-MySpace-Page will tell you how his forthcoming album is sure to “take the game to the next level”. However, in all honesty, once the overzealous statements and hyperbole have subsided and it’s time to walk the walk and not just talk the talk, few individuals are actually able to deliver what they’ve promised.

All of which puts one of the UK’s finest producers, Ghost, in a bit of a tricky position. As you’ll be able to tell after reading the interview below, 2008 is all about progression and moving up a creative gear as far as the London-based beat junkie is concerned. Not content with resting on his laurels following the release of his impressive 2006 debut long-player “Seldom Seen Often Heard”, Ghost has been back in the lab working not just on new music, but also on new directions in which to take his sound. But will the finished product back up his claims of sonic elevation?

With three full-length projects in the pipeline, Ghost is determined to cover a lot of musical ground over the coming months. First, there’s the Invisible Inc set, a collaborative effort with lyrical allies Kashmere and Verb T that Ghost promises will be “something different”. Then there’s the Lingua Franca album with female vocalist Devorah, a release that fans of Ghost’s traditional Hip-Hop sound might not have seen coming, but that the producer says was all about “challenging” himself. Last but certainly not least, there’s the official solo follow-up to “Seldom Seen…”, yet judging by Ghost’s description of the album, even that might not be exactly what’s expected from him.

So the individual responsible for some of the best homegrown Hip-Hop in recent times has definitely set himself some high-standards to live up to, let alone exceed. But unlike those who litter their interviews with empty promises of quality product, Ghost’s previous musical track record and sincere respect for his craft indicates that, in this instance, actions are likely to speak louder than words.

It’s been a couple of years now since the release of “Seldom Seen Often Heard”. In hindsight are you happy with how the album was received and did it achieve what you hoped it would?

No on both counts (laughs). I was really happy to get the album out there and compared to a lot of other releases it did do really well and I’m thankful for that. But I guess what I look at is, had I done that album five years sooner maybe there would’ve been more sales because obviously the whole download thing has taken off and it’s affected everybody.

But looking back it’s all a learning experience and by putting the album out when I did it’s taught me a lot about how the industry works. So a lot of positive things came out of the album and I certainly don’t look back on it in a negative light, but it is disappointing when you know a project had the potential to do better than it did. Still, I can look back and say that I did it and not a lot of people even get that far.

I understand you’ve gained a pretty loyal fan base out in Japan.

Yeah, we got a licensing deal for the album out there. It was weird because I started noticing that people were picking up on the singles over there and they were selling really well. Then we had about three or four labels get in touch saying they wanted to put the album out. So Skeg at Breakin’ Bread hooked up whatever he hooked up and that was that really.

Obviously it’s extremely pleasing to know your music is being appreciated outside of the UK and going forward it looks like the Japanese thing will be an ongoing relationship, which is massive to me. They seem to have an amazing taste in music out there, and without wanting to sound like I’m bigging myself up too much, they seem to be into music that’s got some heart and soul in it, and that’s what I like to think I do.

The Japanese audience is very particular about what they want and I feel very lucky and privileged that my music is in demand out there. The next step is to try to get over there to do some shows and promotion.

Ghost ft. Abstract Rude – “Basic Instinct” (Breakin Bread / 2006)

Your recent single “It’s All Love” has introduced a slightly different side to Ghost than perhaps people have heard before – does the single represent something of a turning point for you as a producer?

In some ways, yes. With that single I wanted to do something a bit different because I’m not someone who can just continually do the same thing over and over again. I like to challenge myself and try new things. The a-side is a real party tune, which is something I’ve never done before. It’s not my regular thing because it’s quite happy and upbeat and very much dancefloor-orientated. The b-side, again, was me wanting to do something outside the box. I still think both tracks have a Ghost sound to them, but within slightly different styles of music than people are used to hearing from me.

It’s always difficult because the Hip-Hop crowd might listen to the single and say ‘What the f**k is he doing? Why isn’t he still doing straight-up Hip-Hop?’ I’m not trying to move away from doing Hip-Hop at all, but as a producer I want to be able to express myself musically and that sometimes means trying different things.

With that in mind, compared to the Hip-Hop scene you came up in, do you think there even is a UK Hip-Hop scene nowadays in the traditional sense of the term?

That’s a very good question (long pause). It’s hard to know what’s going on anymore, really. There doesn’t appear to be much of a structure left. I’ve actually been discussing this with a few people recently and I think the UK scene got to a good level a few years back and I can’t quite put my finger on what happened, but it feels like the ground just fell from beneath it. But that said, there are still artists out there making good British Hip-Hop whose aim is to keep pushing it, keep getting shows, and hopefully ride through the storm a little bit.

It is difficult though, because if you look at what’s happened to the majority of record shops just in London that supported Hip-Hop, the main ones have gone. It feels like the scene has dropped down a little bit. But sometimes that needs to happen so it can regroup, pick itself up and move forward again. But I don’t think the music media here in the UK has ever really taken British Hip-Hop seriously and it’s always been viewed as just a knock-off of the American stuff. Which is really disappointing because there are artists in the UK who’ve made some amazing music but have had to really struggle to get it heard. UK Hip-Hop has never really been in fashion.

Many people are of the opinion that there’s a real generation gap developing between those UK Hip-Hop acts who came up embracing the culture as well as the music, and those younger artists who grew-up with Hip-Hop being this huge money-making mainstream machine. What are your thoughts on that?

It’s a weird situation. I grew-up on the culture of Hip-Hop and it taught me a helluva lot of things, but you don’t see that as much anymore. But you can’t necessarily blame the younger listeners coming up because that’s the type of Hip-Hop the media chucks at them. It’s a sad state of affairs, but I don’t think all hope is lost. I think the key is to try to embrace some of the newer sounds but keep the roots in Hip-Hop, which is partly what we’ve tried to do with the Invisible Inc project that’s coming out.

Ghost ft. Verb T, Kashmere & Asaviour – “Seldom Seen Often Heard” (Breakin Bread / 2006)

So how did the Invisible Inc project with Kashmere and Verb T come about? 

After I’d done “Seldom Seen Often Heard” I was sat down twiddling my thumbs thinking about what I was going to do next. “Seldom Seen…” was the culmination of years of me making music, so once I’d put that out I felt that I wanted to try and do something a bit different. The same can be said for Kashmere and Verb T as well in the sense that we’d all finished our respective albums and were looking to do something new. I’d kinda been playing around with some new sounds and I played them some of the music I’d been making and they both said ‘Yeah, we really like this.’

I’m trying to keep the production quite contemporary sounding but with some depth. A lot of the synth-based Hip-Hop stuff you hear can be very cheesy and simplified, but I wanted to use that sound for the Invisible Inc album but give it a Ghost feel, which is exactly what I’ve done. Everything on the album has been played and the only things I’ve sampled are the drums. It’s still very much a Hip-Hop album, but it’s us taking a fresh look at the music.

We’ve been out doing shows together for about three years now, so we’ve all got to know each other really well and have become close friends. We all sort of came up through the scene together at a similar time, and what became very apparent when we started talking about doing a project together was that we’d all reached the same point of wanting to do something different.

I went into this Invisible Inc project without feeling any pressure about what people expect from me. So I definitely felt freer putting this album together and the result of that is a project that I think will stand out from what everyone else is doing. I mean, we might put the album out and perhaps nobody will bite on it, but at least we can sit back and say we’ve recorded an album that doesn’t sound like anything anyone else has done in this country. That to me is a very important thing.

It almost sounds as if recording the Invisible Inc material has been a rejuvenating experience for you.

What I found was that when I was getting caught up in the business side of releasing music, it just took my enjoyment out of making music. It dragged me down so much that I started questioning why I was involved in doing what I was doing. The business definitely took the love out of it for me for a long time. But after I’d had a bit of a breather, went back, and started to think of fresh things to do I rediscovered my love for making music again. Of course, I’d love to make enough money to put food on my table and keep a roof over my head, but I’m not going out there thinking ‘I need to sell records’ anymore. It’s gone back to me just doing it because I love it.

How does the Lingua Franca project you have coming out differ from the Invisible Inc album?

I think the Lingua Franca project is going to be more appealing to some people than the Invisible Inc album will be. Basically it’s a bunch of tracks that I gave to Devorah to write to, and it’s a really nice soulful album. Again, I wanted to try something different and work with a singer on an entire album.

We’ve been busy over the last five months or so rehearsing with a band, so that when we go out to perform we can do all of the tunes live. So it’ll be a drummer, a guitar player, keyboardist, a bass player, and me twiddling about onstage with some knobs (laughs).

Again, it’s all about challenging myself, but still keeping the heart of Hip-Hop involved in the music. The album is a bit happier than anything I’ve done before, but I think that’s perhaps because I’m a happier person now. I think that both the Lingua Franca and Invisible Inc albums have a very positive feel to them. I have high hopes for both projects and they both sound very good.

So with Lingua Franca and Invisible Inc keeping you busy, when can we expect to see a new Ghost solo album?

It’s already done. I didn’t do much else in 2007 but I did record a load of new music (laughs). What I will say about the new album is that it’s more instrumental than vocal this time around. It’s a step further than “Seldom Seen…”.

Sometimes people lose focus of what you can do as a producer when you work with a lot of different guest artists, so I wanted to show that there’s enough depth to my production for me to be able to handle tracks on my own.

If “Seldom Seen Often Heard” is the album that really put you on the map as a producer, what are you hoping the Invisible Inc and Lingua Franca projects will do for your career?

Firstly, I just hope they actually come out this year (laughs). I’m hoping that both projects will allow me to get out and do more live shows, as that’s something I love to do. But I really hope that after hearing both projects people will say ‘Sh*t! Ghost has got a few strings to his bow.’ I’d also like the haters to realise that good music can come out of the UK Hip-Hop scene and that we should be taken seriously. Plus, it would be nice to get some new fans and be able to expand on what we’ve already done.

Ryan Proctor

New Joint – Ghost

ghost.jpg

 Ghost – “It’s All Love” (Breakin Bread / 2007)

The acclaimed UK Hip-Hop producer comes with something a little different here for instrumental beat fiends everywhere. Sounds like the 60s being pushed through an SP-1200.