Ski Oakenfull

Alongside the 6-part series of tutorial videos about Ableton Live 11 Lite I made for the Feb '22 issue of Computer Music Magazine, I also did an interview. The one that was published was quite radically cut down, so here's the interview in full:

Can you give me a biog about yourself, how and why you got into music production?

My two main obsessions growing up were music and computers, so I suppose it was inevitable that I would end with a career producing music on a computer! I started learning the piano from six years old, as well as singing in the school choir. I was an 80’s kid with home computers in their infancy, so the first sequencer I used was called ‘MIDItrack Performer’ using an EMR interface on a BBC B computer. I connected my Yamaha DX-7 and Roland S-10 sampler, and together with a Yamaha 4-track cassette recorder (borrowed from my uncle), I was making early demos in my teens. At the same time, I was in a band at school, and we used to spend weekends rehearsing and playing gigs whenever we could. Our school friends were really supportive, making flyers and turning up to our small gigs.

Once I left school and went to University in London, I continued to get together with my school bandmates to work on demos. We were called ‘The K-Creative’ and influenced by Hip Hop, House, and Jazz. It led to us being signed to Gilles Peterson’s Talkin’ Loud label in 1991, and this was officially the start of my music career.

After releasing our debut album ‘QED’ we ended up going our separate ways, but I started to work more on my production skills, writing with other artists, making radio jingles, and playing at jam sessions to build up my network of contacts. This eventually led to a record deal with Columbia France in 2000, and I went on to release three solo albums, ‘Life Changes’, ‘Rising Son’ and very recently ‘Short Circuits’. Throughout my career, I have also played keyboards with bands and artists like Galliano, Raw Stylus, Two Banks of Four, and Kylie Minogue, remixed over 50 tracks, and worked at Xenomania. I currently release music on my own label, Primaudial Records, continue writing and producing with artists such as Incognito, Dave Lee, Duke Dumont, and Valerie Etienne, as well as having an ambient electronic project called Ayota.

And how did you go from there to become an Ableton Certified Trainer?

This was broadcast on Saturday 27th Nov at 10.30 am. I was very honoured to contribute an audio deconstruction to this episode of BBC Radio 4's Soul Music series which focuses on Massive Attack's epic Unfinished Sympathy
Check it below:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00120hq
The uncut version is also on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/skioakenfull/radio-4-soul-music-ski-oakenfull-unf...
You can also watch back my live deconstruction at Ableton's Loop festival here:
https://youtu.be/e4Nyo2jc7_g

Click play to listen: 

This track was commissioned by Chris Read at WhoSampled.com as part of a collaboration project with KPM records where I was able to use samples from any on the KPM library albums. The compilation album is called 'Digging in the KPM Vaults'. This list of track I sampled from are as follows (Track / LP)

"Birth Rise (b)" - Breath Of Life
"Synthesizer Bass (a)" - Bass Patterns
"Communication Centre" - The Age Of Discovery
"Hot Cargo" - Vivid underscores
"Low Profile" - Visual Impact
"Four O'Clock Earthquake" - Jazzrock
"Asafo Dance" - Native Africa 1
"Hot Cake" - Time Signals
"Voodoo!" - Breath Of Danger

Here's a description from the APM Music website:
Fired-up trip hop cue with driving bass, sampled choir, cold metallic percussion, slick drums, effected piano, glitchy synths and sweeping strings (samples: 'A New Shade of Blue' by Johnny Pearson, KPMLP1008-8)

Artist: 
Ski Oakenfull
Compilation Name: 
Digging the KPM Vaults
Release Date: 
1 December, 2020
Record Label: 
KPM
Listen to a preview: 
Artist: 
Ski Oakenfull
Release Date: 
25 June, 2021
Record Label: 
Primaudial Records
Audio Description: 

Following the release of the 2005 LP 'Rising Son', 'Short Circuits' is Ski Oakenfull's third solo album. Inspired by the soulful sound of 90's 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 offers one cover version, a dubbed-out version of the MAZE dance floor classic, 'Twilight'.
BUY THE ALBUM ON BANDCAMP HERE
LISTEN TO & DOWNLOAD THE ALBUM HERE

TRACKLIST
Kenny Burrell - Up The Street, Round The Corner, Down The Block [Fantasy]
Raulzinho - Estamos Ali [Phillips]
Eumir Deodato - Tremendão [Ubatuqui]
Tuma Da Gafiera - Samba De Morro [Musidisc]
Luiz Enrique - Samba Skindim [Companhia Brasileira De Discos]
Quarteto Em Cy - Barravento [Forma]
Os Cobras - Uganda [RCA Victor]
Raulzinho & Impacto 8 - Cantaloupe Island [Equipe]
Sergio Mendes & Brasil 77 - Home Cooking [Elektra]
Flora Purim - From The Lonely Afternoon [Warner Bros]
Azar Lawrence - Novo Ano [Prestige]
Michael White - Let Love Be Your Magic Carpet [Elektra]
Raul De Souza - Daisy Mae [Capitol]
Sonny Rollins - Gwaligo [Milestone]
George Duke - Brazilian Sugar [Epic]

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