Feature: Odd Nosdam Modifies Signature Sound for Skateboarding Video

On July 5, 2007, Element Skateboards released This Is My Element, a beautifully rendered video featuring Element’s most talented skaters. In most skating videos, skaters choose their own music, but this video is unique in part because of a soundtrack created by producer Odd Nosdam, whose smooth instrumental hip hop accentuates the skaters’ fluid movements.

Taking the time and liberty to re-sequence the tracks, Odd Nosdam released this soundtrack on Anticon under the acronym T.I.M.E. in the spring of 2009. Odd Nosdam is the alias of David Madson, a DJ, producer, and co-founder of the Anticon hip-hop collective.

For 11 years, Madson has created music, both solo and on collaborations such as cLOUDDEAD with fellow Anticon members Why? and Dose One. His production work includes material for Sage Francis, Sole, Dosh, Mike Patton‘s Peeping Tom album, and others, and his lengthy list of remixes covers Genghis Tron, The Notwist, Boards of Canada, Black Moth Super Rainbow, and more.

Despite the variety of the projects he has taken on, his work always has his signature musical mixture, influenced by shoegaze, dub, and hip hop. In 2003, Madson’s sound attracted attention from filmmaker Kirk Dianda, who used some of his music in a video for ON Magazine.

Throughout the years, the two stayed in touch and worked together on various skateboard videos. When Dianda was hired by Element to make a full-length video in 2007, he solicited Madson.

“[Dianda] thought it would be fun and different to do a score instead of skater-picked music,” Madson says. “He’s familiar with my ability to make something hypnotic and hired me for the project.”

Madson began by watching footage of the skaters, and with consideration for Dianda’s basic directions, created music that he felt was appropriate for each skater.

“The approach [was to develop] something cohesive to each skater’s style,” Madson says. “Overall, I wanted to create something that was sonically cohesive, that wasn’t drastically different from song to song. The ultimate goal was to make music that supported and enhanced the skateboarding.”

The majority of the soundtrack is comprised of samples from Madson’s extensive vinyl collection, primarily late ’60s and early ’70s rock and private-pressed folk albums. To make the samples, he used an SP 1200 drum machine / sampler, utilizing its low bit rate to create a gritty sound.

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