One of the album’s most prominent sounds is the crackling, folksy strum of a reverberating guitar that, when paired with the video, accentuates many of the skater’s tricks and runs.
“Everything you see and hear was conscious,” Madson says. “We wanted the music to walk with the video. I think the hardest thing was finalizing the songs. Are these songs strong enough to stand on their own? I wanted to make something that could stand separately from the video.”
Taking into account the skaters’ tricks, nuances, and personality, Madson was able to make a mesmerizing accompaniment to the video without being repetitive. The subtle changes in each track allow the music to vary and progress while emphasizing the footage.
One of his favorite creations is “Top Rank,” the track that he made for Nyjah Huston. It features a consistent drumbeat, highlighted with an upbeat melody comprised of kettledrums, faint horns, and soft bells.
“He’s a child prodigy, a tiny little kid whose parents are Rastafarian,” Madson says of Huston. “His is the longest piece that I did. It’s the most diverse song as far as the structure. It’s not blatantly reggae, but it has a feel to it.”
Tony Tave inspired the song “Wig Smasher.” Dianda felt that his aggressive style warranted a slightly heavier tone, a battle anthem of sorts. Madson fulfilled this request by layering a deep synth beat over sharp drum fills.
The depth of Tave’s song contrasts with the serene but upbeat qualities of Brent Atchley‘s “Fly Mode.” “He flows,” Madson says. “He’ll be on the skateboard for like 45 seconds. I wanted to make a piece that was loopy and has a nice flow to it. It might sound repetitive without the video, but if the music would have changed, it would have clashed.”
A few of the skaters were able to hear clips of their songs, but the final product was presented at the video’s premiere.
“There were definitely mixed reactions,” Madson says. “Some skaters didn’t understand what we were going for, and some thought it was awesome. It was like they loved it or they didn’t like it at all.
“Pretty much everyone at Element, all the industry people, were all into it. We tried our best. I tried to be sympathetic to the skaters that I met and talked to.”
Despite divided reviews, Madson feels that he created music to enhance the video without compromising his style. He stands behind his soundtrack — with good reason.
This is My Element‘s crisp editing and cinematography, set to the compelling sounds of Odd Nosdam, is a refreshing effort that produced a unified final product. Additionally, Madson fulfilled his goal of producing a soundtrack that can stand without video.
T.I.M.E. gives listeners an experience all its own — the signature sound for which Odd Nosdam has become known, modified to fit a number of unique athletic styles.
– Katelyn Bogucki