Ski Oakenfull, Point Blank’s Head of Education and Development, has just released a brand new album, Short Circuits, via his own imprint, Primaudial Records.
Short Circuits is nothing short of a journey, encompassing late-night grooves with cosmic synths and rolling beats. ‘Eyelashes’, the second track from the album, is the perfect example of this and can be streamed below, along with the rest of the record. Short Circuits arrives as the third solo album from Ski Oakenfull, following the release of his 2005 LP, Rising Son. Inspired by the soulful sound of 90s Chicago House, and the more Techno flavours from Detroit, Short Circuits is a collection of 14 instrumental electronic tracks, written and produced over a 10-year period.
Ski is an artist, keyboard player, producer, remixer and composer living in London. Having started his career with The K-Creative who were signed to Gilles Peterson’s Talkin’ Loud label in 1991, he went on to release two solo albums, play keyboards with bands such as Galliano, Raw Stylus & Two Banks of Four, remix over 50 tracks and work at Xenomania. In addition to teaching at Point Blank and fronting our popular deconstruction series, he releases music on his own label, Primaudial Records, plays live with various bands and writes and produces with artists such as Incognito, Dave Lee, Valerie Etienne and Duke Dumont. In his spare time, he works on his ambient electronic project, Ayota.
In addition to releasing the new record, Ski was invited onto the legendary Gilles Peterson Worldwide FM show to talk about the new LP, as well as play some of his older tracks.
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Speaking about the new record, Ski said: “So it was while I was on a one-week holiday in Cornwall last August that I started listening through and compiling about 10-15 years worth of demos that were sitting on my hard drive. Some were nearly completed, some were just a few bars, but I prioritised the ones I liked the most. After I’d whittled it down to about 20 tracks, I start to feel they could work as an album, so I set about finding and recalling all the Ableton and Logic project files. Some were really hard to restore as the plugins were out of date, but I managed to get everything together in the end. I then set myself the rule that I would go through methodically finishing the tracks, project by project without starting the next one until I’d finished the one I was working on. By Spring 2021 I had fourteen tracks completed which I felt were ready to release. It had been 16 years since my last album for BBE ‘Rising Son’, so it felt like quite a milestone!
As most of the tracks were quite house and electronic oriented, I wanted to give it a title that would reflect the atmosphere, so ‘Short Circuits’ was something that stuck very early on. The idea that most of the tracks were originally short demos that had never really followed their natural path of completion, although I suppose now it should really be called ‘Open Circuits’ [nervous laugh]. Musically, my influences range from Larry Heard, Lone, Underground Resistance, Theo Parrish to Herbie Hancock, Yellow Magic Orchestra and Brian Eno, so I hope this comes across in the sound.
I really enjoyed the whole process, especially reviving my record label (Primaudial Records) and getting to grips with the amount of promotion that’s involved with a self-release these days. Bandcamp has been a brilliant platform, as well as the dedicated Spotify and Apple Music artist portals.
Two of the most important things for me were involving other people in the creative process, namely my brother Tim who designed the 3D sculpture for the artwork, and also my friend Simon Cotsworth who mastered the album.”
For more music from Ski Oakenfull, be sure to check out his socials above. If you’d like to learn the ins and outs of music-making from the man himself, then be sure to check out our courses in London, Online and Los Angeles. Plus, get 25% off selected London, Online and LA courses before our offer ends on 12th July with the codes: LONDON25, ONLINE25 and LA25.
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