Hyp favourite Impey has established a reputation as a key player of the new wave of producers creating some of the most exciting grime-leaning club constructions on the circuit since his emergence in 2014, with ties to notable imprints like Sector 7, Astral Black and Coyote Records.
However, after a recent quiet patch, it seems the South London producer has been crafting up something bigger, returning with a debut record for his new label – Ghost Notes.
Conceptualising the project alongside close affiliate O-Dessa, the idea to expand their NTS show to that of a label has reportedly been in the works for over twelve months. Its debut record, The Deluge, sees Impey turn in two original productions that display a maturing in his work, expanding his already crystallised sound palette with a number of organic elements, as well as a darker, club re-work of second cut ‘The Alchemist’ from dubstep hero Kromestar.
Keen to know more, we tracked down Impey and O-Dessa to discuss their collaborative adventure…
So what is your new imprint all about? Is there an acknowledged artistic direction/concept behind it?
Impey: Ghost Notes is a project from O-Dessa and I that has been in the works for a while now – we’ve both always been into art and it seemed natural to link the two. Raj Sidhu (O-Dessa) worked with Aniruddh Mehta (The Big Fat Minimalist) in building a visual identity for the label, I think they captured the aesthetic perfectly.
The artwork for ‘The Deluge’ was created with our Worldwide’ ethos in mind, collaborating across borders to make something personal to us. The result is a composition constructed from Aniru’s personal photographs of his hometown, Mumbai, alongside images we captured of our own surroundings in South East London.
The main motive was to build a platform that would allow us to have full creative control where we could release our music without having to conform to a brief.
O-Dessa: We both listen to a broad range of music from metal, punk and jazz to dub and electronic music. This was why it’s always been key for us to ensure our label is never genre specific. The evolution of Impey’s sound reflected this equally since he started to move away from club driven productions.
Essentially, if a track has soul and depth then that’s all we care about.
In terms of the art direction, we wanted to produce a body of work that can be heard and seen at the same time. Aniru really helped me bring my ideas to life and over time the conversation will form a greater narrative.
How will the output of Ghost Notes differ from what you have been releasing on other labels?
I: It gives me the freedom to release all strains of weirdness that I really enjoy to make. Before the label was an idea, it was hard to imagine a platform suitable for the direction I was going in. There was a period for me where making music became gradually uninspiring, as it often felt like it would either take a long time to come out or never see the light of day. Having this newfound sense of freedom has really pushed me to make more music, especially less club driven music. A project I’ve been working on titled ‘Sketches’ defines this area of my production, it will be out on cassette via the label later this year.
Although your level of production and creativity has been consistently high since you burst into the scene with ‘Bangclap’, the first Ghost Notes release sounds a little more considered and purposeful. Is this something that was apparent in the production stage and aimed for? Did you use any different production techniques to achieve this?
I: To be fully honest, I want to leave Bangclap way behind in 2014. I’m really grateful for what it did for me but I’m so far away from that place musically. It hasn’t been a conscious decision in terms of the development of the sound – it’s just been a natural progression due to the changes of environment and the amazing people I’ve been surrounded with.
How did the Kromestar remix come about? Have you two worked together in the past or is this something fresh for the new label?
I: Kromestar has been one of my biggest musical influences for as long as I can remember being into electronic music, I think I can say the same for Raj too. I was lucky enough to cross paths with him and asked him to jump on a remix for the first release on the label, and here we are! I remember the times at school watching GetDarker and collecting radio rips of his dubs, a young Year 9 Impey would never believe it haha.
O: Like Impey, Kromestar’s versatility in production really suits our label. The project came together organically having previously crossed paths. Not many people would expect this remix from Krome, unless you’ve really been listening to what he does.
As Impey said, we’ve appreciated his graft for a LONG time. Who else can churn out tunes under so many aliases across as many genres? Shout out Krome, it’s been a pleasure!
The artwork by The Big Fat Minimalist is perfectly suited to the sound of the EP. How are the audio and visual elements linked?
O: The concept for ‘The Deluge’ came from Impey’s love of a painting by Francis Danby. Aniru and I used the apocalyptic image as a starting point and flipped it to a dystopian idea of the modern world. We have combined analogue and digital mediums to create our narrative, which you’ll see and hear via our instagram page and our NTS show. The story continues…
The Deluge EP is out now on Ghost Notes.
Order it here.
Words: Pete Brown
NEXT: Hyp 312: Impey