Ski Oakenfull - Rising Son LP [2005] - Released on all digital platforms - 28th July 2023

I’m delighted to announce that my second album, ‘Rising Son’ is available today on digital platforms. Originally released in 2005 on Bluey’s ‘Rice Records’ imprint, the record marked an important moment in my career and is a project I hold very dear to my heart. My first album ‘Life Changes’ had come out five years earlier, and in the years after, I was very busy with production and remix work, as well as writing and playing keyboards with 2 Banks of 4. Since the mid-nineties I’d built up an amazing working relationship with Bluey from Incognito, which meant that I regularly found myself at his studio, The Blue Room, writing and producing on various projects. Bluey’s son, Daniel (aka Dokta Venom) was often there too, and in 2001 I was lucky enough to work on the ‘Para:Diso’ project (a Bluey/Venom production). Dan and I shared a lot of musical influences such as David Sylvian, Johnny Marr, and Theo Parrish, so when Bluey asked if I wanted to make an album with Daniel for his label, I jumped at the chance. 

It was also around this time that my first child, Neo was born, so I found myself having to adapt to being a dad and juggling studio life (not always that compatible!). However, it was a joyous time, and fatherhood became a key theme of the album, hence the title ‘Rising Son’ and the first track ‘Intro (Neo)’. Start to finish, the album took about three months, with me pretty much taking permanent residency in the Blue Room. Tracks would evolve from demos or ideas I brought to the studio, a guitar riff that Bluey had, or a dope beat that Venom had cooked up. Once we had most of the instrumental tracks down, we started gathering together an amazing array of vocalists. As luck would have it, Detroit artist and musician Amp Fiddler was in town for a few days and Bluey managed to get him to come to the studio where he laid down vocals for the tracks ‘Let Me Be’ and ‘Hang On’. We were also introduced to an up-and-coming vocalist from the US, Chi Turner, who ended up co-writing and featuring on three tracks, ‘This One’s 4 U’, ‘Heavenly’, and ‘So Beautiful’. I was lucky enough to enlist other brilliant friends such as Rob & Val from Galliano (‘Space Gun’), Tony Momrelle (‘Let it Ride’), and Bluey himself who featured on the last track ‘What U Do 4 Me’. Bluey’s niece Charlise Rookwood, and Gail Evans who were also on hand to provide some beautiful BVs.

Throughout the whole project, Bluey and Daniel were incredibly supportive, and there is no way it would have come together without their talent and inspiration. Venom was a master of the Yamaha O2R digital mixing desk which he used to record and mix the album. Once it was complete, we looked to get the album licensed. Bluey already had a great connection with the legendary Terry Washizu at Pony Canyon in Japan, who put together a great campaign including exclusive DJ-friendly vinyl promos. After doing the rounds in the UK, we eventually found a home with Peter Adarkwah’s BBE label, who also did an amazing job, especially commissioning some great remixes from the likes of Dobie and YamWho?, and arranging the artwork from Sam Bannister.

With license deals expiring over the years, I realised that the album had disappeared from streaming sites such as Spotify and Apple Music, so I am thrilled that I have been given the blessing to release it myself on my label Primaudial Records. I still think it sounds as fresh today as it did back then, so I really hope you can enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Check out some photos from the studio sessions here. And here's the EPK.

Listen and download on all digital platforms here
Or purchase directly on Bandcamp