Check your radar good citizens, that blip you see fast approaching is none other than The Flying Skulls, a nu-school three piece that plays live improvisational dub-step, breaks, and electro! The group brings the future-soundz of the modern dance music studio and interpolates them through the filter of live improv. With an old school jazz ethos The Skulls combine their tightly-honed electronic and hiphop infused sonic orchestra in a most dirty and crunked-out way.
The Flying Skulls first started melting dance floors in April 2008. Originally the brainchild of Lowpro Lounge co-founder Jeff Wareham (J.Tonal) as a way to bring the precision of the recording studio to the dance floor. J.Tonal had been creating music and throwing events in the SF Bay Area for over 7 years, sharing billing with musicians such as DJ Shadow, DJ Krush, Shpongle, Ott, Jack Dangers from Meat Beat Manifesto, and UFO! Growing up in the foothills of Northern California, J.Tonal was forced at an early age to go in search of a different sound. After moving to LA and immersing himself in the Hip Hop and Electronic music scenes, he started producing in a style that crossed between those two genres. In 1999 he moved to SF and met up with James Christopher, founding the Lowpro Lounge, throwing over 200 events all over the world, and starting the innovative record label Lowpro Lounge Recordings. "I love what we can do with The Skulls in a live environment, I mean, literally play with sound. You've got a totally improv beat over here, and a live bass line over here, and I'm in the middle dropping a lead, and grabbing pieces of the other performances and cutting them up… really giving the listener an experience." J.Tonal's tracks form the root of the Skulls sound, and by all accounts, they're getting bigger, badder, and more fun to dance to.
The second member of the platoon is Jarvez Turnage. Otherwise know as Snareface, he is a producer and MPC master who rocks ill'ed-out drum lines and crushing original maneuvers on those famous Akai pads. "I enjoy shaking my ass and get people to shake their asses with me. I like making the walls shake as well." Armed with nothing more than an MPC1000, the kid with the huge afro gets SLUNK, juggling basslines and dropping snares so off beat you won't hear them until tomorrow. This SF vet has been working with the Lowpro crew since 2004 and you can see fire in his eyes. Don't mess.
Jerome Forney is a stuntman-turned-DJ, producer, and a dope rattler of bones from the hot and dry Middle-East of CA. An alum of the X'pressions Media Center, Forney pulverizes floorboards with an arsenal that includes a Korg MS 2000, an Access Virus, and some of the meanest sounds this side of the Rio Grande. " I mean, music is my life. What gets me isn't the notes themselves, or even the physicality of playing music, but the underlying language-less-ness of being really really crunked-out. I'm a softie for crunkologists." This kid is trying to cram more wobble in your WAP WAP WAP , thank him.
Straight dope on these Flying Skulls guys? They're dirty. Dirty beats, dirty grimy low-end, mucked up distorted synthesizers, live syncopated beats flipping between 4/4, 3/4, and 7/8 time. The Skulls distill these elements through their battle-tested mix interface into dancefloor-rending sets of huge beats with a cinematic depth meant for the very largest of soundsystems. Chromekids recently described their sound as, "A heavyweight collection of nasty synths, wobbly basslines and crunked out glitchy beats so dirty you'd swear they robbed their MPC players off a crack dealer." A crack dealer? That is pretty dirty…
"The … goggle-sporting performers unleashed a sinful set of seamless grooves that rattled windows and wiggled asses from one end of the club to the other. Pure bass-wasted fun" –The Santa Cruz Metro Times
"Melodiously mesmerizing and explosive beats... innovative arsenal of dynamic drums and live precision." -Chris Clark
"The Kings of improvisational beat-bashing…" – ChromeKids
"Your music makes me feel like I was slathered up in baby oil and trying to ride a greased pony. It's dirty, and I know funk because I'm from the South." -Erin from Mississippi
"Yo! I got mad RESPECT for what you and your friends are doing. Straight killing it and destroying folks!" –Jerrell James Suelto