Podcast 722: SkeletenPodcast 722: Skeleten

Skeleten is the alias of Russell Fitzgibbon, an Australian artist who debuted the alias in August last year. The project began with “Mirrored,” a debut track of woozy pop that he followed with three more sumptuous singles—”Biting Stone,” “Walking On Your Name,” and “Live In Another World“—on Astral People Recordings. “I was thinking about how important it is to do things that aren’t necessarily good for you but deepen your world,” Fitzgibbon explained surrounding the releases. The project is a platform for Russell to craft a sound that is informed by a history in dance music but also his broad ear for raw and emotive energies from new-age and chill-out artists. We’re told that the productions are “more concerned with atmosphere than style,” where eras and influences interweave to create something that feels “familiar and new all at once.”

A Sydney native, Fitzgibbon grew up playing piano and went on to play in rock bands through high school, before discovering electronic music in his early 20s. Alongside his friend Doug Wright as Fishing, he’s been releasing fun and adventurous pop music, like “OOOO,” “White Street Beach,” and “Your Mouth,” for over a decade. In 2014, the duo delivered 11 more quirky originals for their debut LP, Shy Glow, and they released “Good Spirits (In All My Things)“, their latest single, as part of the Blue Line Steppers Volume 2 compilation in July last year.

With its emotive but understated beats, Skeleten hopes to build space for the listener to step out of time, if only momentarily, and it harks back to Fitzgibbon’s love for rock. “I think what’s interesting now is really enjoying a bit of a return to jamming and playing live with friends after mostly getting deep on the electronic zone for years,” he tells EDMjunkies. “I feel like I’m feeling what I’m making more than ever as I grow into myself and my ways of seeing things.” As a sign of where the project comes from and where it’s going, he’s delivered a chill out mix filled with the music that’s behind it. As the world continues its recovery from the pandemic, this is 45 minutes of musical bliss that’ll melt your troubles away.

01. What have you been up to recently?

Picnics, moving house, moving studios, taking apart and building things, thinking about CGI landscapes, recording vocals, playing basketball, and enjoying time with my friends again.

02. How has the lockdown period been for you?

It has definitely made time go a bit weird. Some parts feel like yesterday and others like a lifetime ago. I think with a lot of shows being canceled those milestones and memories can really blend together, but at the same time after almost two years it doesn’t feel like a blip anymore; life has continued and so much has happened. Mainly it’s been slow and frustrating, making plans and seeing them fall away, but I consider myself so lucky to have a roof over my head and be well. Everything else is a bonus.

03. What have been the records that have been impressing you?

Every album by Sault has been big for me in the last year; the energy in those records is unbelievable. The new Ross From Friends is a real sonic wonderland that I’ve been pretty amazed by. Also, I keep coming back to Jabu’s album Sweet Company from last year!

04. When and where did you record this mix?

I recorded this at my previous house in Sydney, between lockdowns, feeling the kind of tension between everything being fine and life remaining beautiful as everything around still kind of crumbled into the ocean.

05. How did you go about choosing the tracks that you’ve included?

They’re all tracks that made me feel present and suspended. Something about them gave me the sense of time hanging a bit too long in the moment which is something I really love experiencing, listening to mixes especially.

06. What can the listener expect?

Maybe just to take 45 minutes to relax and think about life.

07. What’s next on your horizon?

I’m extremely excited to play live again in January after a couple of wonderful one-off shows. Moving into a new studio and getting into the world again, which means that new music is surely on the horizon.

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Tracklisting

01. Octo Octa “My Body Is Powerful” (T4T LUV NRG)
02. Harold Budd “Little Heart” (Darla Records)
03. Heights of Abraham “The Cleric” (ZTT Records)
04. Dzihan & Kamien “Homebase” (Couch Records)
05. Private Lesson “Highland” (Total Stasis)
06. Tourist Kid “UV Bleacher Tangent” (Melody As Truth)
07. You’re Me “Lunch in the Meadow” (Public Possession)
08. Derek Carr “Off Grid” (Trident Recordings)
09. Roza Terenzi “Sunday Slo” (Moonshoe Records)
10. ABRA “Pull Up” (True Panther Sounds)
11. Steven Legget & Laura Reid “Forte” (Firecracker Recordings)
12. SAULT “The Black & Gold” (Forever Living Originals)

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