In the three years that have passed since the release of Ghostly’s Idol Tryouts compilation, Ghostly and its brother label Spectral Sound have brached out beyond their roots in Ann Arbor under the guidance of Sam Valenti IV, who has built a shamelessly diverse roster of artists from around the globe. Idol Tryouts Two is an expansive document of this maturation, offering a plentitude of exclusive material separated into two discs distinguished as Avant-Pop and SMM.
Avant-Pop denotes a distinct brand of off-center pop treasures – it follows no formula, but you know it when you hear it. On this disc, exclusive tracks from Skeletons & The Girl-Faced Boys, Mobius Band, and the rest of the Ghostly roster document the crossroads where the avant-garde and the popular converge. Matthew Dear and Dabrye also appear, foreshadowing their respective sophomore LPs and the label’s stylistic movement into the future.
SMM is a mysterious acronym (Sensual Machine Music? Stately Modern Melodies?) that encompasses music of a more enigmatic nature, with an emphasis on textural and melodic nuance. This collection follows in the tradition of Ghostly releases by Twine, Aeroc, Lusine, and Kiln, with friends of the label such as Loscil (Kranky), Richard Devine (Warp) and Terre Thaemlitz (Mille Plateaux) contributing exclusive tracks.
Adorned by the iconic BoyCatBird mascots of rogue Detroit designer Michael Segal, Idol Tryouts Two comes in deluxe digipack/gatefold packaging with label discography, artist photos and bios, and liner notes from Andrew Parks (Devil in the Woods magazine). Each format contains exclusive tracks. This collection is Ghostly’s most fully realized statement yet, a split-brain affair, over two years in the making, that offers a full spectrum of artists who show us the beauty of the machine, inside and out.