Matthew Dear and Ryan Elliott Take A&R Reigns at Spectral Sound


Ghostly International’s offshoot Spectral Sound has developed an impressive catalog of music since launching in 2000. Over the span of almost nine years, the label has released choice albums, such as Matthew Dear’s Leave Luck to Heaven, and choice techno efforts by the likes of Jeff Samuel, Osborne, Geoff White, and James T. Cotton. After a solid run of releases, co-owner Matthew Dear has announced that he is taking over A&R duties for the label with Ryan Elliott.

“Ryan and I are simply on the road more than anyone in the office,” Matthew Dear tells Big Shot. “The past few years have seen us playing a lot more, meeting new acts, receiving demos on the road, and playing more new music out in the clubs. Since we experience the physical reality of what things sound like out there, it was only fitting that we took over more of the artistic direction. We want the label to reflect more of the life we’ve been experiencing.”

“Context is one of the most important elements of dance music,” adds Ryan Elliott. “Playing somewhere around the world most weekends really lets you hone your ear as to what works well and what does not. We want to bring that to our release schedule even more than we have in the past. We both are continually playing, receiving, and looking for new music, so its only natural that we parlay that into our A&R duties. It’s also good to have more than one set of ears deciding on releases. If something grabs both of us right away, it’s usually a good sign that it is a track or artist we want to pursue.”

Spectral Sound has a slew of upcoming releases dropping in the next few months, including EPs from Osborne and Lee Curtis, as well as singles from Seth Troxler, Bodycode, Kate Simko and Death Is Nothing To Fear 5.

“Spectral has always been very amorphous in our direction in sound, and we’ll definitely stick to that path of continuous change,” adds Dear. “Things will get deeper than they have in the past. We’ll also be planning more label showcases and residencies around the world.”

“Spectral Sound 2009 is aimed squarely at the dance floor,” concludes Elliott. “Groove heavy tools for DJs. Further development of our core artists and a constant ear to the ground, looking for like-minded new (or new to our label) producers. As Matthew stated, we also want to do more real-time events, pop-up Spectral parties and label nights to help deliver our sound.”