Skyculture will levitate a listener's sense of self, sensitivity, sensuality, and musical common sense. This uninhibitedly expressive camp of extremely talented professionals has taken it upon themselves to fly us home, as in "...where the heart is." Skyculture has revealed itself--no, evidenced itself--as the mature music listeners' Hope Diamond; and, like a rare gem, the album "rising..." glistens. It's an overdue, progressive (but retro-RESPECTive) next step (up) in music today. Brainchild of the fanatically tasteful, musical mastermind, Ken Taylor, "rising..." is 2010's aural-logical remedy for the present trendy production gimmicks, while it artistically exploits digital audio production technology and technique. Ever present on "rising..." is the unique and uncanny feeling of listening to inspired, artistic, innovators, LIVE in session. This is what is surely and so sorely missing from most of today's commercial Black music.
Skyculture elevates us with performances that are entertaining, especially because they're infused with many truly musical components intelligently placed, so that you enjoy discovering the clever arrangements, and are impressed by their taste, quality, and strategic presence (in the mixes, too). The album also pays homage to jazz, funk & soul without sounding dated or vintage. The songs' messages range from self awareness & self appreciation, to political awareness, planet preservation, and testimonial revelations about love and hope. "rising..." gives you instant access to positive music that is useful in promoting "good vibes" (like in restaurants, living rooms, meeting spaces, etc.). It's smart, dynamic, rhythmic, soothing, sexy, intimate, provocative and rewarding. I have so taken to this project that it has become my constant companion--my "ally" in the attentive war against musical bullshit. Skyculture has even ascended to the place that allowed them to include two pure instrumental selections on an album that is so well seasoned ("cultured") that it should surely be served to hungry listeners worldwide.
The conscience raising "Why War" and "Not My Fault" are eclectic, electric, and reminiscent of Seal. Teasingly titillating are the singer's performance and the production on "I Believe In Miracles," presenting bluesy, contralto vocal stylings reminiscent of Mary Wilson, Phyllis Hyman, and Anita Baker, wrapped in a cocoon of sensually layered synths. While taunting, haunting, AND flaunting, Ken makes vocal smile's play out of a not-so-nobel warning song called "(You Better) Know Me." Coming completely out of left field, on a seriously sung soul ballad, is the arrangement for "Water Under The Bridge," featuring a virtuoso piano keyboard solo that makes the cohesiveness of a "band" so obvious that it's more than commendable. Exhilarating and propelling is "It's a Wonderful World," lyrically utilizing "green" senti-Mentality with authentic tribal vocals and rhythms that stir the heart and instigate dancing. The "lounge" song, "One Beautiful Day," is conducive to doing just that (lounging) and more, while it motivates and promotes positive thinking and appreciation of "simple things". That's just to mention half of the dozen delights this album delivers.
As you can see, this writer is sold. If you're not yet, go to skyculture.com and sample, then purchase, this album. Buy it a few times so you can give it as gifts to people who you know will be lifted "sky high" by really satisfying uplifting music--you know, the established members of the "Cloud CroWd." ;-)
*Anthony Malloy is a world known dance music artist of the '80's and early 90's, having produced and sung lead vocals with such acts as Anthony & The Camp (Warner Bros. Records), Serious Intention (EasyStreet Records), and Temper (MCA Records).