Some ink has been spilled over the years on the subject of music in ski edits. To trace a loose progression: early film releases leaned heavily on punk rock and Swollen Members, before the era of edit skiing diversified the need for music to keep up with rapidly evolving styles of skiing. Gangster rap fulfilled a need for upper-middle class white folks to release certain repressed teenage anxieties; Pitchfork year-in-review compilations allowed the more poetically-inclined to be artsy, artsy as fuck. It’s been a while since we checked in on skiing’s soundtrack. The year is young, so we figured what better time to cast an ear than now.
In the interest of filing this story ahead of deadline, this reporter has thrown a tangled, poorly built net out into the internet in the hopes of reeling in some good skiing soundtracks. Included in the weekend’s catch are the following.
SIMPLE.’s DEADKIND edit is a strong candidate for the heaviest of the season, which is remarkable considering it dropped December 1st. Jake Carney’s pedal-to-the-floor early season hammers are proof that summers in Australia pay off in winters in North America. And although “THOT ENHANCER” is a track title that forces the old man in me turn to UrbanDictionary for explanation, I am on board. If you’re going to abuse the Gucci Plateau as unrelentingly as Carney does, you might as well pair it with a song as unsettling as this.
Now, a couple things to consider in the discussion here are, on one hand, whether you go out and download the track you just heard after watching, and, whether the song is one you’d want to listen to while skiing. The gold standard for me is Joystick’s Hot Lunch - I listened to the Velvet Underground religiously after HL came out, because in my brain it equalled spring laps on Blackcomb. Ethan Swadburg once told me the Stooges’ “I Wanna be Your Dog” had a similar effect after JF Houle used it in Eye Trip.
FIDLAR’s “Stoked and Broke” drew its share of heat from viewers when it appeared in Khai Krepela’s edit of the same name. But, like it or not, it has a similar effect to “THOT ENHANCER”; it suits the riding in the edit. Watching a skinny-pant skier hit rails fast at PC doesn’t really call for a laidback beat. And in turn, the edit echoes the song: “I don’t really care if you think it’s cool”.
Looking at the relationship of song and edit is a little more nuanced than simply checking whether the music matches the skiing, and the Burrrlapz offer a good example of the other ways a track can compliment a video. Deer Tick’s “Dirty Dishes” is not your prototypical edit song, but it has a way of adding to the story the Burrrlapz are telling. As one of the Mcskimming’s sends a rodeo 7 deep into the Fernie powder, Deer Tick comes through in the background, reminding us that if it weren't for skiing, “things could be so much worse.” The lyrics turn an already dope edit into something more.
So, upon some light review, it looks like the relationship between skiing and music is alive and well. The right song still makes an edit, no one can quite agree on what tracks are best, and sometimes the unorthodox choice expands an edit beyond tricks alone. We'll be back later in the season to see how things are coming along and maybe even share some recommendations of our own.