Staggered by Miguel Migs’ new album Outside the Skyline, I had to find out more about the crazy inspiration that put this lil’ monster together. Featuring performances from Meshell Ndegeocello, disco legend Evelyn “Champagne” King, Bossa Nova vocalist Bebel Gilberto and longtime collaborator (going back to the Naked Music days) Lisa Shaw – to call this 14 track collection “eclectic” is one hell of an understatement. It’s maybe the most “eclectic” album made by a dance music producer since Lil Louis introduced us to “Blues House” on From The Mind of Lil Louis in 1989.
“Being an ‘electronic dance music artist’ is a wide term these days,” Miguel says. “I wanted to create an album that showcased various musical inspirations yet had a continuous flow as an album should have, and it felt like this album made sense.”
Miguel has always incorporated disco, dub, soul and other elements into his “housier” tracks, but seems to realize he’s on a different wavelength here. “I tried to spend some more time on the production quality, layers, textures and of course the vocals and songwriting. It’s more of a listening based album than a ‘club/dance’ album and I hope people can enjoy that.”
Few albums are listened to in their entirety these days – most blame (or credit) iTunes for developing listeners’ tastes for tracks rather than a full-on 60 minute listening experience. “It’s very difficult to create an album that everyone loves from start to finish,” he says, “but as an artist I would hope that people listen to the full album as an introspective, to be able to get into the flow of the songs and music as a whole body of work.
“As a producer-driven album featuring all different vocalists and styles, everyone will have their own favorite, but hopefully people can have an open mind to check out the whole thing without too many expectations and hopefully enjoy it for what it is.”
Of course, long before Outside the Skyline there was PetalPusher, Miguel’s live band that he toured with a couple of years ago. With Miguel appearing at The Mid on October 21 with Lisa Shaw, is a PetalPusher reunion in the works? After citing “loads of time, work, and energy” to do it right, he turns cautiously optimistic. “Anything is possible. But probably not for a little while.”