Ghost District EP
MidiEvil takes us on a journey to the Ghost District with 5 amazing records on the EP. We're very excited to feature this incredible artist and his latest EP today on our blog, DARKNET!
"You walk through a ruined city. Trees reach out for crumbled ruins, and moss color one side of each structure. Vines crawl the sides of buildings. You are alone. You walk to a stream that runs through this city that has been eaten away by nature. You sit down and close your eyes. As the sun reaches the horizon you start hearing the river murmur to someone, the evening insects call warnings to those of the day and the birds warn you that the night is coming. All seems to create a luxurious blanket of sound. You open your eyes and you are immediately blinded by the setting sun. You realize you are not alone. You have never been alone". - MidiEvil
The first record on the Ghost District EP is Lost Soul. At once the ambiance in the track transports us from the familiar world around us, to somewhere far away from our present reality. We are on a personal journey to the Ghost District. Small insects give this track a feeling of daylight fading into dusk. The thick synths side-chained as the beat gets louder gives the song a beautiful foreboding sound. Of course, it has to come with a lush 808 bass that strikes at the core of this song. "A lot of my music is made pretty late, and I thought this song gave you that introduction to the night. It is the whole start to the aesthetic.” - MidiEvil
Next one up is called Hustle Graves. The off-kilter drum gives a wonderful swing to the song, while a reverbed lead breaks away at the beginning of this one. Another side-chain on the back synth gives it swing while the effected organ works with an 808 to give the back bone to Hustle Graves. Lots of open space and cuts give a variety of edges to listen to. A lot of different feelings from this one. “I just couldn’t seem to make her understand…"
Moving onto the next track, we hear Corrupt Files, less is more with this song. The pitch tuning bends that synth just enough to give it movement. Pound it out on the MPC, add some natural bird sounds for the environment and let it ride. The kick, snare, and hat are very trappy in this track, but the synths are very ambient with a little lead. The sounds work so well with each other, it's hard to argue that there needs to be more. Groovy.
The 4th song on the EP is called Corrupt Files. The song evokes the feeling of being at the bottom of the ocean and is probably the most Vaporwave sounding track on the album. A very lush, rising/falling synth stem is held long enough to hear the movement, and an off step lead creates wave-like effects throughout this song. "Be like water. Go with the flow." - MidiEvil
MidiEvil closes this amazing storytelling EP with a 5th and final track, Boredom. Again, a simplistic track, but the sounds is what really makes it pop. Vocals and reverb work together, and the intermittent lead seems to break up parts of the song. This song has almost a Latin percussion that gives it a different bounce. Boredom symbolizes daybreak and the moment everything seems to end, but instead begins. The ghosts leave knowing that they will return again once the day has its turn.
We're so proud to feature you on our DARKNET blog. Ghost District EP has been getting an incredible response on so many platforms! It truly is a work of art! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your musical background. Where are you based and what got you into music making?
I hail from Minneapolis Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes. I have been creating music for over a decade, mostly as a producer for hip hop artists in Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota. Right now I currently produce and DJ for LOWH1FUNK (Duluth), Strictly Hammers (Minneapolis) and EL.I.BE (Minneapolis). We have toured as far as Jackson, Mississippi and I have opened for artists like Lizzo (In the group GRRRL PRTY, way before Lizzo got to where she is at today), Doomtree and even Afroman to name a few. In the last couple of years, I have been branching out to create more solo pieces and I have been enjoying every minute of it. My start was born out of necessity turned to passion. Common to the Vapor95 DARE style, I had to make a decision of either choosing the party life or creating music for others (and myself) and I chose to create. It saved me and my close friends from losing each other to the scene we were involved in. I picked up a laptop one day, using GarageBand, and created songs note for note. I don’t use that method anymore and have been working with Reason and an MPC. It taught me about the finer details (and the struggles) of music. Now I have my own studio and spend a lot of late nights creating and listening. It is amazing what having your own space can do for your creative outlet.
Where did you hear about Vapor95? Have you always been into Vaporwave music and aesthetics?
You know that little ad that always pops up when you are browsing the internet that targets what you like? Vapor95 is the only ad I have ever clicked on, and that is how I found V95 and its Instagram, Darknet and everything in between. Random, but crazy how it all worked out. I started with a lot of Lo-Fi and trap music, but I have always loved the Vaporwave culture, as I think it has been a vibe that has always spoken to me. The colors, the greek roman marble busts, the Asian culture aesthetics, the anime, the lush wavey sounds of grainy Rhodes synth, I love it all! Whenever I need a break from music I am still playing Rush2049 or Legend of Zelda on my 64. Guess a part of me never left the ‘90s.
Tell us about your musical idols and where you draw your musical inspirations from!
My first big start from someone who really inspired me was C318, the guy who produced all the music and even the sounds for the original Minecraft game. I used to watch people play and immediately was drawn to the beautiful ambient melodies that seemed to fit the mood of every single aspect of the game. If we go even further back it was the Ocarina of Time (Legend of Zelda) soundtracks. I loved that 8-bit ambiance. I have always tried to recreate that in some form or fashion with my music. Right now, I have been really hooked on artists like Laxcity, REACH., Alex Lustig, Ghostemane, Olswel and Hanz. Each has a futuristic sound with heavy bass. It seems I like to have a very lush sound with heavy 808s, and it seems to transpire into my own creations. My wife has also coined the term I use to describe my sound: Ghost Music. She usually wanders into the studio late and asks if I am making music for ghosts. Ambient synths with trap-like 808s seem to give it that feeling, so I have used the term when describing my sound or genre.
Please tell us about your music writing/creative process? How often do you collaborate with other artists? Who would you want to work with the most?
Usually, the only time I can work on music for extended lengths of time is late night, so I like to put on some anime without any sound (Cowboy Bebop, Mushi-shi, Samurai Champloo are my favorites) and play away. I tend to track everything out with an MPC. I find synth stems or loops that I really like, or make some and just create the melodies as I go. Drums are usually first, so I can loop them and play around with synths as long as I want. I typically start with a sound or a vibe and just work my way around how I'm feeling with it. The anime seems to influencer the vibe as well, as I watch it during small breaks. I have collaborated with only a few producers, but with a lot of hip hop artists and MCs in the midwest area. My dream collab would be with Laxcity or Hanz. Those guys are phenomenal in their workflow. They also do a lot of collaboration with SoundCloud artists, their sound is right in my wheelhouse and everything they seem to touch is gold. Right now, I hope to talk to some other producers willing to collaborate, that would be something I would like to do more.
How do you see yourself at the highest point of your career? What would be your ultimate dream to accomplish with your work and when do you see that happening?
I see myself producing for up and coming hip hop artists and creating more solo EPs on a higher level. I kind of like staying out of the limelight, but just close enough to it, if that makes sense. I just want a lot of people to enjoy my music as much as I do, I think that would be the highest point in my career and my ultimate accomplishment. I have created music that I truly enjoy as an individual and I have had to battle internally to stay confident in what I do, especially when it comes to reaching others. My music has always strayed from the mainstream path and I have found some people don’t like to wander off that far. I just want to create music that people can vibe to on repeat. That would be huge for me. This EP has kind of had that feel to it, and the response has been amazing. I would like to keep pushing that further. No better time than the present, right? Huge shout out and thank you to Vapor95 and Darknet for giving artists like myself an opportunity to reach people who search for music like mine.
How often do you perform and where could we see you live? Can you tell us a little about your upcoming shows?
My next show will be at Cadence Coffee and Records in St. Paul Minnesota with EL.I.BE April 11 at 7 p.m., which will have Marcel P. Black coming from Baton Rouge. Louisiana. Marcel P. Black has been touring with his theme “Real EmCees don’t rap over vocals”. The next one I have on the books is a wonderful event called Homegrown Music Festival in Duluth, Minnesota. This event is a week long music event spread across many bars and venues throughout Duluth. My group LOWH1FUNK will be playing Dubhlinn’s Irish bar Friday, May 1st. This event is a Duluth staple and has a variety of genres, bands and entertainment throughout the entire week. We are talking a couple hundred bands and over fifty venues during that week. This will be my sixth or seventh year playing the event and I couldn’t be more excited, so if anyone is in the area I highly recommend coming out to see a lot of that event. Thousands of people come to this event and it seems to get bigger every year. Libbfest will be rocking this summer as well, a festival held by Bear Lake in Brimson, Minnesota and hosted by some of the coolest people in Duluth. They hand build their stage every year and have some great experimental bands that usually end up collaborating with each other late at night. If anyone in the Minnesota area is looking to learn more, feel free to send me an email in my SoundCloud bio.
Finally, we would love to ask, what would you say to up and coming artists who want to pursue their passion?
Make music for you, first and foremost. Yes, music is meant to be enjoyed by everyone, but if you can’t enjoy your music fully, then the music will not be as meaningful -or create something more for you. Don’t let what’s hot determine your style of music. Take the pieces you like and incorporate all your favorite sounds into a track and EXPERIMENT. Try something new and don’t tell yourself no. One more thing- music is like anything in life: if you really want to be good at something, put in the time to do it, even when you don’t feel like doing it. Some of my best tracks have been created on nights I just wanted to be lazy, but told myself I had to at least give it some time. I have found myself on those nights three hours in and bobbing my head. Keep consistent, work hard at it and love what you do!