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Do you spend a lot of time on YouTube? Even if most of your work day is spent surfing through suggested viewings, you probably can't match Canadian producer Ghibli (a.k.a. Thomas Michael), who crafted his latest album, Rare Pleasures, using only samples collected from videos on the site. "Winflowers" is a slice of bedroom pop from that LP, featuring cut-up vocal snippets over soft synth pads and a four-on-the-floor beat. You can stream all of Rare Pleasures after the jump, where you can also find the release's artwork and tracklisting, or download the 10-song album here, where the Crash Symbols imprint is offering it for free in the digital form of your choice. - XLR8R

"Rare Pleasures"

Somewhere in Japan late at night, Christopher Walken is starring in another bleak dance video. This time it’s not for Fatboy Slim but for Edmonton’s “Ghibli”. Named after Studio Ghibli of legendary anime fame Canadian Thomas Michael really shows some sampling chops on his newest release “Rare Pleasures” out on limited edition CS from Crash Symbols.
It’s easy to see the neon lights and LEDs whizzing around to this one. A stoic Walken tromping about a glass walled skyscraper club. This is some quality electronic dance stuff. Despite the fact that we are living in the age of the remix where sampling reigns supreme, I would have to say that this piece of the puzzle is totally necessary and doesn’t further add to a questionable contemporary music timeline.
Apparently, this whole record was sampled from “Youtube” clips which is pretty net and makes it even more 3D NET FUTURE for me. To be honest though, I think Michael shows some real talent in his disco and soul vocal sampling. They seem to make a nod back Detroit techno and might show some Arthur Russell inspiration. If you are looking to get wild on the weekend this is definitely a tape to dive into the night with. While certain elements of this release are experimental, I would have really loved some wild panning to be going on with this one. Or a bit of a drift from the classic dance sound on this CS. It’s good but there is definitely room to grow. It doesn’t sound like everything else, but could definitely be pushed further from what it is.
Ultimately, this is a solid release from a prolific guy, looking to do something conceptual and different from the norm, but when you have guys like Pogo, Galapagos, XXYYXX, in just as deep, you have to bring it. Pick this tape up; it could be the first release from a guy who later becomes a legend. For now, he is doing his thing and I respect that, Rare Pleasures is a keeper!
- Suave Citation

"Ghibli - Rare Pleasures [Album]"

House music sometimes seems like a set-it-and-forget-it genre. The artist puts on a bassline, strolls out of the room, gets experimental with instant ramen, and comes back to make a minor adjustment that lasts another four minutes. Ghibli‘s newest album, Rare Pleasures, doesn’t live up to that generalization, and we’re all better for it. It’s a little disco-house, a bit of the genre that many try to forget like the Three Wolf Moon shirt hidden in your closet, and grainy samples that come from youtube videos instead of vinyl. Mining illegal videos of songs for your chop material is rare enough, right? - Potholes in my Blog

"Album Review/Download: Ghibli-”Rare Pleasures”"

This is the genre that no one wants to like. A funky, chillwave/disco-house hybrid bubbling with catchy samples and synths that turn you into a bobblehead. And this is sampled entirely from YouTube videos? Almost embarrassing if you ask me. Try as I might, though, I can’t not like what Ghibli has done here. It’s golden. Say what you want, but I haven’t heard this level of excitement in electronic music since DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing… Just 33 minutes and four seconds of audible bright lights and euphoria. Just download this, it’s free. 8.5/10
- State Champs

"‘Rare Pleasures’ by Ghibli"

More Crash Symbols loving from the Space Giraffe (?!) here as I take a long look at the marvellous Rare Pleasures by Ghibli.

To put it in the most pedestrian way possible, Rare Pleasures is what you will find in the dictionary next to the compound word Feel-Good.
Crafted entirely from samples taken from YouTube videos, Thomas Michael (alter ego of Ghibli) has gifted us with an album of pure joyous ecstasy.

Mostly mashing together sounds from old Funk, Soul and R&B grooves makes Rare Pleasures a real treat for fans of the House genre and really breathes life into what can often be very monotonous and dull music.

No dull moments here. The opening flute sounds at the beginning of The Crows Fly Back After The Storm sound like the clouds parting and letting in beams of sunlight to your soul. Then some kick-ass saxophones join in and the beat picks up and the album rarely loses its momentum from there.
There are brief moments of calm, like at the start of Winflowers and Richbaby especially but these always burst into a big, tasty dollop of musical ice-cream.
Frankly, if you can stay seated and not in a state of constant dance whilst this album is on, you need to seek help immediately.

“Cut from YouTube videos you say? Isn’t that illegal?”
Yep, probably.
Just as illegal as the DJs of old who took samples and music from old vinyl records and invented millions of awesome new musical genres as a result.
All I know is that music this joyous is probably worth some jail-time to create. - Space Giraffe

"Ghibli - Pythia"

If Gold Panda’s globe hopping early 7”’s andJib Kidder’s plundering of Asthmatic Kitty’s back catalog taught us anything, it is that a kid with a computer and some editing software can go anywhere and be anything he/she wants without leaving his/her bedroom. Pythia, produced by Thomas Michael (formerly Jaded Hipster Choir) takes on a similar conceit as Gold Panda and Jib Kidder, but with Classical and Choral arrangements as his goldmine gutted. It is surprising that this kind of thing isn’t done more. Given Okapi’s criminally overlooked mad-genius 2010 breakcore concept masterpiece Love Him, Pythia lacks the heady baggage, back-story (and running length) that marred that album. Instead, Pythia gives the people what they want. Blunted beats, muted sound palate and insanely brilliant samples of Choral Canticles that are chopped and blended into a driving 4-4 house beat, and the overtly Romantic likes of Dvorak and/or Copland turned effortlessly into a dance track. It is impossible not to love an album that effortlessly turns the gold-standard of unfuckwitable into something so easily consumed. But, this isn’t a slight in any way. Pythia is just way too fun to listen to. In fact, I think I have given this album more spins than anything in my library here in the Swaz. If hipsterism really is the dead-end of Western Civilization, then call a spade a spade, but shit, they (by “they” I mean the inevitable suction into easily classifiable and pejorative terms to describe something we music blog reading/writing types all buy into whether we like it or not) are really onto something here. Respect.
- Ryan H

"Ghibli - Societal Finches E.P"

Ghibli es el entrañable alias de Thomas Michael, ex componente de Jaded Hypster Choir y otro más de los nuevos artesanos del cut&paste dream-wave.

Pero, a diferencia del resto de sus compañeros de tijera, Thomas se preocupa más por conseguir texturas clásicas, que retrotraigan nostalgia y calidez a partes iguales. Su nuevo E.P. autoeditado así nos lo demuestra. Selección de artistas para remixear uno de los mejores temas de su también autoeditado a principios de verano álbum Pythia (BONUS: con dos tracks extra para los que paguen la suma que crean conveniente al descargarlo).

Samples del Elysium de Schubert añadiendo profundidad a raudales, una sensación de ingravidez permanente y la certeza de que, por mucha decadencia que nos embargue el alma, siempre habrá un lugar para el renacimiento via linimento sonoro. -

"The Whole World Married On The Top Of A Mountain"

The Society Finch has never lived in the wild. The bird’s entire history can be considered caged, amongst people. And while there’s something romantic about the idea of them all circling above a mountaintop parade, it might be even more satisfying to imagine them, over the next 15 minute ascent, in their own ceremony, finally marrying the outside world. - Stadiums And Shrines // Dave Sutton

"Ghibli : Brahman"

I've been a fan of Thomas Michael's music since he hooked me with his project Jaded Hipster Choir sometime last year, but since this past February, Michael has been keeping me grooving under the moniker Ghibli. What started as an exploration of classical music samples in hip hop and dance-influenced tracks, resulted in his fantastic album, Pythia. Composed of over thirty minutes of off-kilter house music built from an outstanding sample bank, Pythia gives me a break only long enough to stretch my legs and drink some water before giving the album another spin. On stand out "Brahman," the dance stuctures lose shape for a brief moment, falling into a highly charged ambient drone. Afterward, everything proceeds as normal, as if everyone dancing didn't suddenly start levitating for a few minutes there. --Jheri Evans, Get Off The Coast - Altered Zones // Jheri Evans


Clubs - 2013
Rare Pleasures - 2012
2011 Compilation - 2012
Societal Finches E.P
Pythia - 2011



Ghibli is a child of experiment.