Abigail Ward is an artist, music producer, DJ, writer, curator, broadcaster & podcast producer.
She makes music under the name Ghoßt Assembly. Her debut release, ‘I Miss Your Love’ – a raw and soulful homage to late 80s Chicago house – was released on Rüf Kutz in summer ‘23, achieving plays on BBC 6 Music and DJ support from Roísín Murphy, JD Twitch (Optimo), Luke Una, Bradley Zero and Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy.
As a DJ Abigail thrives on creating absorbing multi-genre musical road trips that are guaranteed to elicit an emotional response, be that on a dancefloor, at an art gallery or in your headphones.
Twelve years as a counter jockey in Manchester’s best-loved independent record shops, Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange and Kingbee inspired her open-eared eclecticism. A well-schooled crate digger, she excels at stitching together oddball tunes from far flung corners of the world and doing on-the-fly edits with decks ‘n’ FX .
Her abiding musical passions include rare soundtracks, krautrock, deep soul and reggae, but she is equally at ease banging out underground house in a sweaty club, or live-streaming a leftfield pop set from her studio in Hulme. The thread that runs through all of her musical selections is a sense of mystery, melody and a certain voodoo groove.
Also a broadcaster of some repute, Abigail has curated sets for BBC 6 Music, NTS, Melodic Distraction and Reform Radio. As a presenter she is celebrated as much for her subversive badinage as for her musical choices.
Abigail is a co-founder of Suffragette City, an annual large-scale club event celebrating female, trans and non-binary DJ talent, which raises funds for local grass roots charities.
Her most recent bookings include Gottwood, Manchester International Festival, Manchester Psyche Fest, Partisan at Islington Mill and Homobloc, where head honcho Luke Una (Worldwide FM, Electric Chair, Homo Electric) described her thus:
‘She’s like a young Mancuso. Her selections are insanely magical. She’s got that thing. You can’t contrive that or buy or replicate it. It’s deeply esoteric and natural and perfectly balanced. One of the unsung heroes.’
Abigail is a co-founder of Manchester Digital Music Archive, an online community archive established in 2003 to celebrate Greater Manchester music and its social history. She left the organisation in 2020.
For 10 years Abigail was a freelance creative facilitator and project manager for the charity Drake Music, specialising in creating projects, progression routes and opportunities for disabled and neurodivergent musicians. She identifies as neurodivergent.
Her work as an podcast producer includes:
- Unity is Strength, a podcast exploring rebel women of the trade union movement, commissioned by Manchester Histories
- Not Going Shopping, an audio project commissioned by Manchester Pride marking 30 years since the enactment of Section 28
- The Lapsed Clubber Audio Map, a podcast tracking the rave scene in Manchester, commissioned by Manchester Metropolitan University
- Superbia, an audio installation of queer poetry for 2019’s Superbia Gallery, commissioned by Manchester Pride
Curator | Producer | Writer
Abigail has written music features, reviews and sleeve notes for a number of outlets including the Quietus, Music Week, Red Bull Music Academy, LTM Recordings and Piccadilly Records.
In 2008 she edited and co-designed ‘1 Top Class Manager – the notebooks of Joy Division’s manager 1978-80′, a book about Rob Gretton published by Anti-Archivists.
She recently acted as Consultant Curator on New Order’s box set re-release of their debut album, Movement.
Other clients include: Manchester Metropolitan University, Imperial War Museum North, Manchester Academy, Cultureplex, The Lowry, People’s History Museum, University of Manchester, Liverpool John Moores University
- We Are Dynamite! Rock Against Racism 40th Anniversary exhibition at NIAMOS
- Queer Noise: The History of LGBT+ Music and Club Culture in Manchester at People’s History Museum
- Defining Me: Musical Adventures in Mcr – a major exhibition exploring music & identity at The Lowry
- Moss Side Stories: an online exhibition celebrating music and club life in Moss Side & Hulme