The ingenuity of one Ann Arbor-based label
When Sam Valenti IV met Matthew Dear at a house party in 1999, it was love at first listen. Both were students at the University of Michigan; Valenti had dreams of starting his own record label and Dear was an aspiring DJ. They bonded over their mutual affection for Detroit techno, and soon a beautiful baby called “Ghostly” was born.
Residing in the realm of dance and electronica, the Ann Arbor-based label Ghostly International and its sister label, Spectral Sound, have paved the way for minimal techno and ambient music since the late ’90s, creating its own progressive genre. Matthew Dear was the first artist signed to the label, releasing a 12-inch single titled “Hands up for Detroit.” (The track was produced by the late Disco D, a fellow University grad.) Dear’s minimalist ap