Scrolling through Ghost Kwini’s Youtube channel is an intense experience, his new work divided among a series of untitled tracks accompanied by digitally manipulated visuals of flowers, born again Baptisms, microscopic organisms and more, marking a path through paranoiac 8 bit grime, bizarro dembow and the sort of abstracted beat work championed by the likes of TCF, Arca and Gatekeeper. Since releasing the Dark Address EP in June 2014 on Sonic Router, the channel has been the best way to keep up with Ghost Kwini’s output and in the process has marked the way his sound has developed and mutated. Whereas Dark Address tracks like “Black Google” and “Netscape Navigator” wouldn’t have come across as out of place on a Boxed compilation, invoking many of the weightless grime tropes so popular today, the new work is far more difficult to pin down, throwing trance, glitchy noise, dancehall and more into a polyglotic mass.
Hailing from a small coastal town in the Netherlands and currently residing in Berlin, Ghost Kwini’s music resides firmly in the web space and despite wishing he could occasionally hear his music on club systems, its sonic makeup and visual accompaniments seem to fit far more comfortably inside of a Youtube stream. And like a users ability to leap from one section of the internet to another, Ghost Kwini doesn’t appear to be held down by any genre or rhythm constraints, freely jumping from one sound to another in a fashion that is as engrossing as it is hard to follow. Likewise, his Astral Plane mix hardly follows a set template, jumping from gabber, hardcore and grime to a series of infectious bubbling tunes, all tied together by an abiding digital aesthetic, an aesthetic that seems to drive forward with reckless impunity as it simultaneously crumbles. Ghost Kwini doesn’t have an official release planned as of yet, but keep an eye on his Youtube channel and follow his words on Twitter. Hit the jump for a short interview with Ghost Kwini as we discuss his relationship to grime, club music and the internet.
Hi Eddie, how are you? What are you up to right now?
I’m all right. Just eating some peanuts and trying to look for a new job. I hate it so much, the looking for a job part.
Last year’s Dark Address EP on Sonic Router touched on a lot of the weightless grime tropes embraced by outfits like Boxed and Different Circles. Do you see yourself as being a part of that culture?
I’d say they were definitely an influence yes. I don’t see myself as being part of that culture tho, for the simple fact that I never attended one of those nights and never really got involved with the people running things there. I’m not based in the UK either. I was living in a small coastal town in the Netherlands when making the music for that EP. But yes, I can relate to their sound and their aesthetic. As for my contemporaries, I find that hard to answer but the mix I’m presenting here might be a good indication of the artists and sounds that inspire me.
On the same wavelength, tracks like “It’s A Mess” and “Connected” that you’ve posted on Soundcloud recently have taken on more abstract club tropes. Almost like a deconstruction of your previous work. Is that a fair characterization and how would you define your current output?
Moving to Berlin and hearing different sounds attributed to making those tracks. Just as trying out different plugins and sounds did. I still very much like to play around with simple 8-bit sounds and clean presets but sometimes I feel that it ends up sounding too digital, too smooth. With “Connected” and “It’s A Mess” I tried using different sounds and effects in order to create something that would sound more alive. I made a few more but I can’t upload on soundcloud anymore so if interested check this youtube playlist.
How do see, if at all, your music functioning in a club environment?
To be honest, I don’t think it would really work. Not for most of my music anyway. I never really saw that as a problem because I just like what I’m doing at the moment but I sometimes wish I would hear my own music over a proper sound system. I’d either have to make my tracks more club ready or go towards the other extreme. I can’t decide really.
You spoke about the crushing/overpowering nature of the internet in an interview with Liminal Sounds last year. Has releasing music on a web-based medium effected that outlook at all?
Nah not really. I still think it’s an interesting trope tho and it’s something to think about. The internet is both so heavy and so extremely light. It’s everywhere but it’s also nowhere. I wish Italo Calvino would be still alive and would write a book on it, I’d love it. I can already imagine information traveling through submarine communications cables, halfway escaping and interacting with the fish.
What do you have planned for 2016?
I might do a release in 2016 but I need to finish quite some things and I need to come up with something coherent so it still takes some work. I’m also playing with the idea of coming up with an audio/visual installation but I’ll have to see if I have the resources, contacts and time for that.
Ghost Kwini – Interlude 1 (Entering)
Arca – Fossil
TCF – 54 C6 05 1C 13 CC 72 E9 CC DC 84 F2 A3 FF CC 38 1E 94 0D C0 50 5C 3E E8
Ghost Kwini – Connected
Neosonic – Hijacker Bubbling Remix
Arpanet – Wireless Internet
DJ Rashad – Compute
Dopplereffekt – Non Vanishing Harmonic Spinor
Waifer – Shower Hour
Zomby – 1 Up
DJ Lockie – Warning Free Ringtone
DJ Rakka – Schuren Tijdens De 3e Wereldoorlog
Anti-G – Oepss Te Hardd!
Clap Freckles – Danza De La Lluvia (Paul Marmota Edit)
Cossa – Warever ft. P Doce & Pink Star
James Ferraro – C Lord
Fade To Mind – The Claw Track 5
Arca – Sad Bitch
Rabit – Black bag
DJ Weirdo, DJ Sim & The Radical Master DC – Intro/Welcome Beyond Thunderdome
Arpanet – Entangled Photons
Drexciya – C To The Power Of X + C To The Power Of X = MM = Unknown
Gatekeeper – Re-Gen
Hard Attack – Bonehead
Idaly – Die Berg