Skyrider 47:34

"Bud Berning awoke in a Mexican hospital tied to a bed, one eye sewn shut, and body crushed.” So opens the press release for Skyrider, a Florida native who found himself bed-ridden for nearly a year following a coma-inducing accident. The 18 tracks on 47:34 are the result of Skyrider’s intense physical and mental states in the year following. Skyrider’s beats feel built, rather than composed, and are complemented by superb guest appearances from a host of vocalists, banjo-pickers, bass players and more. The mood is often sombre and disorienting, and, layer by layer, one really does get the sense of weaving in and out of consciousness just as he did. "Everyday of Their Lives,” featuring Clint Thompson, is haunting, interspersed with conversation and a choir’s solemn humming; "Join the Navy,” with Jeffery Calvert, is a creepy political commentary, while "Before the Dawn” recalls a lazy, Southern afternoon and "Requiem,” with Carl Bjorksten on keys, is lovely. The standout track happens to be the only non-instrumental offering with Jim Wurster singing and plucking at his guitar on "Masters of Deception,” with a dignified sadness that invokes the oldest and weariest of souls. Though it could use some polishing, 47:34 is a beautiful exercise in mood and sound. (Endemik)