I met Skyler Tait, more widely known SKYWLKR, at his house in Ferndale, Michigan off the famed 8 Mile Road for the first time in mid-January. He was at ease, getting ready before a set later in downtown Detroit. The house was cluttered and a bit claustrophobic, much in the way his beats can be. The former metal-head turned rap producer has quietly forged a niche sound and in the process helped define the sound of ascendant cult Detroit rapper Danny Brown.
In an era where super producers have become bigger than most rappers, SKYWLKR has created his own distinctively dark electro-industrial blunted soundscapes that stand out from most of his peers. His beats bang hard, with skittering percussive backdrops that allow rappers the space and freedom to experiment with the tempo and cadence of their deliveries. Though at times spacey and minimal, there is always a sense of urgency and obscurity that keeps his beats both compelling and propulsive.Andrew Barber 0