#valophilly - SoundTrack

Press play and listen to the SoundTrack from #valophilly

<click here to download>

Our culture and any social progression needs a soundtrack. Without the beats or the sounds that have influenced the pulse of our community, our skate videos would mean nothing. It makes perfect sense that music has both motivated us and challenged us. Music has allowed us to communicate how we feel whether it be in the sense of togetherness or divisiveness. None the less, it fuels our dire passion to keep on creating.

Producing a skate video is more than just skating and filming haphazardly. During the production of the #valophilly video, I was becoming more aware of the urban tapestry of Philadelphia than ever before. Maybe it was because we were driving ourselves deeper into the slums of the city. Maybe it was my refreshed eye from living away for so long. It reminded me of the streets from which I germinated as a young skater. It reminded me of the hip-hop that I grew up listening to while watching old VG's. The whole experience made me want to dive deeper into the genres of soul and jazz. The city of Philadelphia has a specific vibe that I felt compelled to capture beyond the visual representation.

It wouldn't be right to speak about the soundtrack before mentioning the late J-Dilla. This man has pretty much influenced my favorite artists and shaped the sound bubble of up-and-coming artists whom I give my attention today. I mean, it was Pharcyde's "Runnin," (produced by Dilla), in the connections section of VG3 that stimulated my love for both skating and hip-hop simultaneously. The Roots' "Datskat" from the same skate video drew my attention to jazz horns and, most importantly, hip-hop from my home city. I paid my respects to those tracks in the #valophilly video. These tracks created me in a sense. They gave me a voice in youth and allowed me to develop an expression of positivity in both how I skated and presented myself.

If you've seen the video, you'll notice you don't get much of a break from audio. The only breaks noted are when (1) Seedless Scotty speaks on owl claws and crystals, and (2) after Colin's 180 over the flatland bench gap which leads into the credits. It's a session video. I mixed all 36 audio tracks so that they intertwined as seamlessly as possible. When sessioning with the homies I don't experience breaks. If I'm not going, someone else certainly is. The session, just like the city, is always moving. I wanted that feeling of fluidity to be displayed for the viewer in order for the city to shine through as much as the skating itself. Without the layering of sound, I don't think that feeling could've been reached.

Here's for you technical geeks:

On my Roland SP-555, I sampled in all of the audio coming from Final Cut including the skate sounds during each transition from song to song, using any one out of the hundreds of effects that are internally built inside the machine. I then re-recorded that track into Ableton Live and layered it back into FCP. My project was a pyramid of layers and layers. It was a complete mess. When I had to go in and rework stuff, which I did constantly, I had to move 1000 piece puzzles and somehow make it all fit back together. Tedious work but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Respect to all the bols out there making their crews look and sound good!