Seattle Electronic duo GHOST GUN has created an explosive sound that transports the listener to a cinematic place somewhere between this world and the next. By experimenting with house, techno, ambient, hip-hop, and a wide array of electronic music, this duo delivers pounding tracks fit for all dance floors.
Aiming to catapult to the leading edge of dance music in Seattle and abroad, GHOST GUN delivers their three-track EP, 'SHOOT FIRST, QUESTIONS LATER.' Acting as an anthem for insubordination, this sophomore EP is a defiant, adrenaline-fueled rallying cry that returns to the roots of G-House while throttling into a more emanate hip-hop presence.
As we indulge ourselves in the seemingly unique resonance that comes into contact with our presence, there’s protruding energy that enters our graces instantaneously. The EP’s introductory single “TRANQUILIZER,” casts out a shadowy ambiance that has our thoughts dwindling in the eclectic sounds that redefine the basis of sonic exploration. The ominous synths weigh in on a scale that tips from heavy to feathery on a well-rounded spectrum. Touring us through an amplified presentation of what the world of hip-hop and G-House reflects when combined, the Sablo featured record has 'SHOOT FIRST, QUESTIONS LATER,' off to a running start.
Bringing our focus to the ethereal showcase of versatility that GHOST GUN holds in this specific genre-bending simulation, “TIDES II,” has the foreboding essence of our headspace delving into great depths through the progressions ventured. Enlisting the artistic techniques of Maee, the vivacious soundscape contains harmonious elements that elusively navigate you into a blissful utopia of pure genius. With no lyrics to be reflected on, “TIDES II,” is completely up to the listener’s interpretation. Tapping into your inner GHOST GUN lens, the rise and fall that happens through the peaks and valleys of musical elements allow us to feel the motions of crashing tides.
Completing this dynamic trio of songs, we’re exposed to “PISTOL WHIP.” Basking in the foreground of lyrical dexterity and an unapologetic basis that douses you in upbeat vivacity, the energy that comes from both GHOST GUN and Kevawn mirrors underground electronic music with the kind of memorable stamina that remains in your mind long after the song comes to an end. Through the bass-heavy inflection of melodic substance, we also get a candid display of lyricism that has us completely latched onto the quintessence of “PISTOL WHIP.” Joining the previous songs in order to complete the impeccably balanced cocktail of GHOST GUN, we know that this EP will have you taking a deeper dive into what they’re all about.
Welcome to BuzzMusic GHOST GUN and congratulations on the release of your sophomore EP, “SHOOT FIRST, QUESTIONS LATER” The three tracks that you convey give us a great representation of who you are as creators. What is the concept that’s intertwined with the project’s title and the songs that we hear?
Thank you for those kind words! This EP was a huge milestone for both of us, marking
a huge step forward in production quality as well as cohesion in our artistic vision as a duo, so it feels incredible having it out in the world. From the beginning, we wanted “SHOOT FIRST, QUESTIONS LATER” to be challenging conceptually, packed with meaning lurking behind a veneer of club-friendly, almost ignorant instrumentals. Dance music has always been rooted in rebellion, and the very act of gathering to move and express oneself freely to music is a middle finger to authoritarian structure, so we wanted to make something that embodies that more flagrant aspect of dance music.
How long does a project of this caliber take to create? Could you please share a glimpse into what the process looked like for you two?
It’s funny you asked that because this is a subject we discuss all the time. It’s interesting to see how social media and technology have created this unrelenting thirst in listeners for a constant flow of fresh content, often with a disregard of craftsmanship. There is a lot of great music out there that seems to be overlooked. It can be sometimes difficult to balance creating something of quality while also managing the pressure to be a consistent presence in listeners’ feeds. Through the process of creating our debut EP “GHOST GUN”, we learned a lot about how the two of us work together as artists, how our musical and technical skills fit together, and how to take the vision we each had for the music, share in it, and realize these visions cohesively in order to make something better than we could have on our own. After we released “GHOST GUN” last year, we each took some time independently to rest and recuperate, as well as to invest time into our solo projects, but we soon got the itch to start something new. Our schedules didn’t really align, so during the time on our own, we each started a track with GHOST GUN in mind. We came together after we had both gotten time to work on our own, and the potential projects ended up being the two singles from SFQL, “PISTOL WHIP” and “TRANQUILIZER”. After fleshing out the production for each song together, we hit up Marquis (Sablo) and Kevawn about featuring on the tracks. They each came into the studio and absolutely killed it, nailing their respective performances as well as our vision for both tracks. For TIDES II, we wanted to stay true to our original method of jamming ideas out together, allowing for improvisation and feeding off each other’s vibe to fuel the creative process. We set aside a weekend for exactly this purpose, and by the end of those two days, we had created the instrumental that became TIDES II. We knew Rachel (Maee) had the exact quality of voice we wanted, so we were thrilled when she agreed to feature on the song but neither of us was prepared for the performance she gave. Everything she sang was improvised, and as she was singing, our jaws hit the floor. That’s kind of the beauty of the collaborative process, when everyone is in sync with visions aligned, what you make together is pretty much always better than what you could have hoped for on your own. All three features helped us make this project something timeless. As far as the timeline goes, things get a little fuzzy. In total, this project took around eight months from inception to release, but that number is extremely nuanced, if not outright misleading. The actual instrumentals took less than a week combined to produce, but without the extra time taken to record the features, create and assess multiple versions, and mix and master the final songs ourselves, we would never have been able to create the caliber of music you hear on 'SHOOT FIRST, QUESTIONS LATER.'
Out of the collection that you carefully crafted, do you happen to have a particular song that resonates with you more than the rest? Why?
It’s really hard to choose just one in particular, as each song has a resolute meaning that is woven together in congruence with the others, like movements in a symphony. Each song conveys a different episode over the course of an emotional metamorphosis, from disillusionment, through revelation, and into actualization. We’re always having to change and evolve as people, growing into better, healthier, and more aware versions of ourselves, and we wanted our music to reflect that never-ending cycle. When you listen to SHOOT FIRST, QUESTIONS LATER as a whole, you experience this firsthand, using the EP as a blueprint for your own transformation.
If your audience could take away some main themes and messages from 'SHOOT FIRST, QUESTIONS LATER,' what would you want them to reflect on?
'SHOOT FIRST, QUESTIONS LATER' is a floodlight aimed directly at authoritarian structures, illuminating their grip on our lives and minds. Expanding on the cycle of transformation we discussed in the last question, this work demonstrates the process of grasping the reality of the stranglehold autocratic systems have on us, educating ourselves to loosen the grip they have, and using what we learn to enable ourselves and others to resist. People are meant to think, live and breathe freely, not have their thoughts and actions controlled or dictated for them. We believe that music has the power to not only bring people together but awaken them in order to start the process of self-transformation.
How does this body of work compare to your debut EP?
'SHOOT FIRST, QUESTIONS LATER' is a massive step forward for GHOST GUN, continuing the vision we put forward with our eponymous EP while demonstrating the leaps we’ve made as artists and musicians. Both EP’s share common themes of death, enlightenment, and rebirth, and are logical progressions in the GHOST GUN saga, but SFQL is without question a musical and artistic progression as well. This EP has even more dancefloor appeal without sacrificing any of our creativity, which is something we take very seriously. We saw this firsthand when we were fortunate enough to open for Black Gummy and Notaker last month at Trinity Nightclub in Seattle. Seeing people react so well to our music in a live setting felt absolutely unreal. Without a doubt 'SHOOT FIRST, QUESTIONS LATER' is some of our most proud work.