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Ghoulish Discusses 'Arc Flash' and Creative Growth"

Ghoulish has emerged as one of the most requested producers on the scene, earning recognition as a UKF featured artist and being named one of UKF's and Mixmag's "Ones to Watch." His track “Hold Tight” was celebrated in Mixmag’s Best Tracks of the Year 2022, further cementing his status as a rising star. Ghoulish is making waves in the UK club scene with his pristine, genre-bending productions and awe-inspiring sets.

Ghoulish quickly made a name for himself with his intricate and powerful dancefloor-shaking productions. Within a year of releasing new music, he garnered widespread support from industry giants like Skream, Seth Troxler, Mella Dee, Ewan McVicar, Jaden Thompson, My Nu Leng, Dusky, Holy Goof, Jackmaster, Sammy Virji, Notion, Jaguar, Shosh, I. Jordan, DJ Q, and Girls Don't Sync, among others.

Ghoulish's impressive production style blurs the lines between genres, allowing him to create what he terms "genreless" music. Drawing inspiration from euphoric dance, laidback house, and the core-rattling depths of dubstep and grime, Ghoulish crafts music and DJ sets that are enigmatically unique. His creative prowess and diverse palette of sounds and track selections make every performance a distinct experience, showcasing his boundless talent and innovative approach to music.

He recently released his latest single Arc Flash and has been released on legendary MCR label Left, Right & Centre along with a potent club re-flip from label head Korzi. We caught up with him about the release:

1. "Arc Flash" takes a darker, percussion-focused approach compared to your earlier work. What inspired this shift in direction, and how do you think it represents your growth as an artist?

Ghoulish - “Arc Flash is the product of me experimenting with sounds I was loving in the club and also stuff I was really enjoying making which is a massive expansion to the sound I have been developing over the last few years. It is a darker sound but I think you can hear this style embedded into my earlier work. I feel this track is a huge progression from my first few releases but the essence of what my sound/style is has been sort of “foreshadowed” I suppose in my earlier works. I do feel however that I have really started to find my own style and sound off the back of this release as it was made in a very similar period to a lot of tracks that are forthcoming!”

2. Your new single "Arc Flash" has been described as having a tension-building tactic that keeps listeners on the edge of their seats. Can you tell us about the creative process behind crafting this kind of atmosphere in your music?

Ghoulish - “Honestly, it was just me really trying to make an absolute club weapon! I was listening to (and still am) lots of really interesting dance music from artists like Ploy, Rhyw, Pariah, Buraka Som Sistema, Siu Mata and Amor Satyr etc. and their approach to atmospheres and rhythm just really inspired something in me and I do feel like that ethos has been carried through to even my recent productions. For the actual build/release element, I find it’s really a matter of controlled placement, you know, having elements drop out at a certain time or different things getting moved to create that tension and release. When I approach producing I am pretty bare bones and make sure that every element has it’s place so when it’s time to create tension it’s just the case of filtering or muting aspects of the track to tell the listener “something is coming”. I mean I say I am barebones, I’m not but kinda am, like a majority of my projects are just messes of modular recordings, drum lines then a few synth parts and BASS.

3. Following your collaboration with Skream on 'IFEEL,' how did working with such a well-known producer influence your approach to "Arc Flash"? What did you gain from that collaboration?

Ghoulish - “We didn’t collaborate for the EP, Oli allowed me to release on his platform, which is such an honour as I am the only person other than himself to release via IFEEL. However, we chat an awful lot and send ideas back and forth and I think that in itself has really spurred me on to become a better producer and DJ. I personally feel like I always want to outdo myself and always want to keep pushing forward my sound.”

4. The "Arc Flash" single includes a reflip by label head Korzi, who brings an abrasive and glitchy edge to the track. What was it like collaborating with him on this remix, and how does his style complement or contrast with your own?

Ghoulish - “I have been such a fan of Korzi and the label for a minute cause they release really forward thinking dance music so to have him remixing the track is a really wicked moment. His releases with Swamp81 and More Cowbell really showcase his versatility as a producer and someone who tries to not be constrained by genre’s which is something I absolutely adore and look up to. Korzi’s style is definitely something I reference when I am in the studio myself, he has lots of intracises and subtleness in his music which I feel gets lost when you are creating music for a club setting (especially the modern club setting with things like tiktok etc). For me personally, I have found myself leaning into this style of music and fusing it with stuff that is a bit more accessible as I find that lot’s of younger club goers and newer listeners of dance music won’t find their way to  these styles (mainly because they are usually tucked away) but when you present it to them in a set they always love it!”

5. You’re known for your versatility and willingness to explore different styles. How does "Arc Flash" showcase your ability to reach for a varying degree of sounds, and what can listeners expect from you in terms of future releases?

Ghoulish - “I love exploring a multitude of sounds and styles, I find myself getting hyper fixated on things and diving down a rabbit hole of genres. I mainly do this because I just love music…but also have a real sense of pride discovering hidden gems that I can play in sets, i’ve found myself scrubbing my usb’s of track’s that get played out too much so I basically end up forcing myself to relearn all the new track’s i've just splashed out on (oops). In terms of future releases, Arc Flash was created in a period where I had just moved into my own flat, was getting quite bored of the music I was producing and then ended up rebuilding my sample libraries and approaching production differently. This sort of “era” redefined my whole artistic vision to be honest and all the tracks that I have made in that period/since all have what me mates and other djs/producers have called “a distinct sound” which is wicked as that is sort of my main dream, ya know, my own sound. Basically, I have made loads of music and it all sounds like it’s from the same vein but they're all massively different from each other.”


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