January 18, 2013

Skyrider – The Tower

SkyRider - The Tower

Free download of Skyrider’s new live mix of original productions, plus his Ableton Live Template used to create it.

SkyRider’s musical beginnings go back to the 90’s when he was a drummer in a dub band. After a horrible accident in Mexico City, he was bedridden for a year and began exploring post-rockesque instrumental hip-hop compositions on his computer. It was during this time that he hooked up with Canadian label, Endemik Records for his solo debut, then eventually formed Sole & The SkyRider Band with anticon. founder and indie hip-hop pioneer sole. The band toured the world multiple times as they garnered a cult fan base, but for SkyRider this was not enough.

In 2008 SkyRider moved to Los Angeles where he and his group, “Furious” were invited to join the quarterly rotation at the legendary Low End Theory (Gas Lamp Killer, Daddy Kev, Flying Lotus, etc.). SkyRider spent a year working at the Stones Throw Records notorious weekly party, “The Do-Over” (Mayer Hawthorne, Peanut Butter Wolf, etc.). Being immersed in the electronic music renaissance at the birth of what would later be known as the LA Beat scene inspired him to push his music beyond the predictable and formulaic formats which have become the norm for popular dance music. The beats on “The Tower” are loud club bangers without sacrificing melody or ambience.

Necessity is the mother. SkyRider created “The Tower” out of a need to do more with his art. One of the biggest disappointments with laptop-based music performances is that many electronic artists play pre-recorded material, and choose to “look busy” rather then actually performing anything. In his effort to create a live electronic performance that would be entertaining for both the audience AND the performer, SkyRider became fascinated with the electronic music sub-genre, “controllerism”, the focus of which is the live manipulation of MIDI controllers. It soon became clear that the most exciting performing artists in the genre allowed room for improvisation and error. “The Tower” leaves ample space for both. After countless performances with this template, SkyRider has found that he hears something new every time he plays, which keeps things exciting on stage and thus exciting in the crowd.

SkyRider chose to take the unprecedented step of including his Ableton Live template with this release in part to answer the question many ask of electronic performers…(“what’s he actually doing up there?”), but also to give a little something back to the online electronic music community that has given him so much support over the years. In the tradition of the creative commons, SkyRider is making his SkyRider custom APC40 producer’s performance template for Ableton Live available to the community, to use, to steal, to adapt, to improve.

The template, which has been affectionately nicknamed, “The Tower”, was used to create this 90 minute live mix of original SkyRider productions – many of which are still unreleased – and is the backbone of SkyRider’s current live performance set-up. The album and template are available now for free, with the option to donate.

On the track, “What We Do”, SkyRider borrows a sample from the Cat Power song “Maybe Not”. SkyRider flips the original chorus which optimistically states: “We all do what we can” and re-appropriates the message into something more honest and bleak: “We all do, What we do.” This is a minimalist and atmospheric composition, down tempo and somber. This song isn’t for the club, its more like a late night bike ride off a cliff, into the future, into the abyss…