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More Info:In the past, Sole had primarily worked with producers on his Anticon label such as Alias, Jel, Odd Nosdam and Telephone Jim Jesus for his previous solo albums, but as he searched the world for new meaning in life, new motivation to continue making music, it was a simple twist of fate that would land him back in the States after a brief stay over seas. Along the way he met Bud Berning, a dub drummer and electronic composer recording music under the name Skyrider, intrigued by his sound, while on a short tour in the U.S. Sole later returned to work with Berning and two newly recruited members, John Wagner, a drummer from Tennessee and multi-talented instrumentalist William Ryan Fritch. Accepting Sole's offer, the band re-located and got to work almost and began rigorously recording what would be an entire album, as Sole scrapped ten songs already finished and originally prepared for his next planned release. The voice is familiar, but the sound is all new! This is a return for Sole after Live From Rome was met with mixed reactions, and in a major way this is also a return for Anticon, as Sole is one of their flagship artists. The embattled emcee takes on corporate America, criticism, imperialism and his own inner demons as they toil with dissatisfaction.
Though Sole's last album, Live From Rome, came out only two and a half years ago, and Sole has been busy in the meantime, recently releasing a solo instrumental LP under the moniker mansbestfriend, and twice touring the US and Europe, he nonetheless refers to the self-titled Sole & Skyrider record as a "comeback". In some ways, Sole & Skyrider is a record of return, a return to rhyming, for one, particularly the complicated rhyme schemes that marked Sole's early work, a return driven by his seemingly, but not actually, discordant love of both Lord Byron and Li'l Wayne. It also represents a return to the musical consistency and coherence that made the Alias-produced Selling Live Water a critical triumph. It is also, though, more than a mere return. Even before he'd finished Live From Rome, Sole had become disenchanted with the process by which he'd been making music: get a beat, spit a rap, mix it down. Fortunately, a series of events led him into the arms of Skyrider. The Orlando three-piece soon relocated to Flagstaff, Arizona, where Sole's been living since his return from abroad, and all of a sudden, music-making became a warmer, richer thing. And you can hear it in the music: these songs feel lived-in, composed but not cold or calculated, and fierce yet not angsty. The improvisational songwriting process produced a musicality new to Sole's discography, and also furnished a number of stunning juxtapositions. The lovely analog of "Shipwreckers" (where Sole jacks the hook from the Guy Debord film, Refutation of All Judgements) comfortably cohabits with the grinding, anthemic opening track, where Sole promises, "when the last buzzard eats the last candy bar from the last body on the San Andreas, it'll be a sad day for investors".