Spectral Sound, Vol. 2 celebrates Ghostly International’s dancefloor-oriented counterpart label, charting Spectral Sound’s eight years of groundbreaking house and techno with standout tracks from each of the label’s first 50 releases. The compilation is sequenced chronologically, opening with Spectral’s first release – the razor-edged banger “Irreparably Dented” by a then-unknown DJ/producer named Matthew Dear – and progressing through James T. Cotton’s acid-house experimentation, Osborne’s smooth retro-disco, and Kate Simko’s elegant minimalism.
With its extensive tracklist, Spectral Sound, Vol. 2 paints a expansive picture of Spectral’s output over the years. Tracks like Par Grindvik’s “Continue in My Words” (from the Swedish producer’s 2007 Continuate 12”) reach for the ceiling with high-intensity swells and sunbursts of analogue synth; while lower-key numbers like Broker/Dealer’s aptly titled “After Hours” (from their 2004 “Opening Night” single) display Spectral’s contemplative side, reveling in moody atmospherics and furtive guitar arpeggios. The comp also includes “New J.,” a devastatingly funky, never-before-digitally-released track from the vinyl edition of Audion’s Suckfish LP.
Spectral Sound, Vol. 2 depicts a label ever in search of the new, constantly evolving while maintaining a darkly playful sense of humor, an embrace of sounds both beautiful and terrifying, and a willingness to test the boundaries of technology, texture, and rhythm.