Russell Fitzgibbon is an artist finding his voice. Deeply rooted within Sydney’s tight-knit creative community, he established his first breakthrough project at a time when his hometown was just starting to develop its own identity in electronic music. Since then, his output has progressively evolved in tandem with the changing scene. His early maximal sample-based productions morphed into more dance-focused releases as Russell continued to cultivate his sound and develop as a producer, DJ and instrumentalist. Always looking to understand music in new ways, these years of restless experimentation led to the genesis of his most personal project to date - Skeleten.
Skeleten sees Russell unfiltered for the first time as both a vocalist and producer. At the core of the project lies a strong sense of uncomplicated openness, as the music naturally took shape over relaxed, late-night sessions between other work. “For the first time, I was really just making music with absolutely no intention, just doing exactly what felt good in the moment,” Russ says. “It was only after I had all these ideas floating around that I started to realise how much it sounded like me, and maybe understand a little of what I was getting at.” Beyond its form as a solo recording endeavour, this move towards honesty is reflected again in drawing on the artist’s own practice in design for the visual components of the project.
There’s a disarming quality to Skeleten’s conversational delivery, sparking comparisons with Arthur Russell and King Krule in its laid back intimacy. Affirmations and uncertainty are rendered with equal clarity, hanging over the restrained instrumentation and almost meditative rhythms which give these songs their pulse. Through Skeleten, Russell crafts a sound that is informed by a history in dance and electronic music alongside a broad ear for raw and emotive energies from new-age and chill-out artists to city pop and dub. His productions seem more concerned with atmosphere than style, as eras and influences interweave to create something that feels familiar and new all at once.
‘Mirrored’, ‘Biting Stone’, ‘Walking On Your Name’ and ‘Live In Another World’ are the debut singles from Skeleten, out now via Astral People Recordings.
Skeleten is music for the moment. Emotive but understated, entrancing but genuine, Skeleten builds a space for the listener to step out of time, if only momentarily.