Chris Urban, aka Urban, is a downtempo, autonomic and reggae producer and piano/keyboard player from Denver. He has been a musician of different forms and genres for almost 20 years. He began as a jazz pianist in the late 1990’s, playing in high school and college jazz bands including the University of Colorado’s renowned Jazz Combos. Meanwhile, during college he began DJing hip-hop and electronic music with turntables as well as producing beats with Reason. After graduation at CU in 2007, his production went forward full steam, building his studio while experimenting with styles as diverse as dubstep, drum n bass, house, garage, breaks, hip-hop, trip-hop, downtempo and reggae.
Urban’s first release was Don’t Misinterpret in 2012 with UK bass label Gamma Audio, which combined the sounds of dubstep with hip-hop lyrics. He also released Confirmed Kill in 2012, another hip-hop/bass hybrid as well as the autonomic track Dig and garage-influenced Switchback with Gamma Audio in 2013 (all available on Beatport) before releasing his debut EP Please Officer on San Francisco reggae-electronic label Avocaudio in the summer of 2013. Please Officer marked Urban’s shift towards reggae and dub influenced electronica and featured the vocals of international reggae artist Ganja Zulu on the songs Please Officer and Solve Dem. Solve Dem, as well as Switchback, also featured Urban’s return to live piano solos on his music.
His shift towards live electronic music has only intensified in 2014, beginning with his release of Soulwork on forward-thinking bass label Dank ‘n Dirty Dubz. Soulwork was featured on the 4/20 Compilation EP and has garnered more than 20,000 plays on SoundCloud. The tune also marks Urban’s shift towards releasing all of his music for free. Beginning with Soulwork, all his future releases will be available for free on his SoundCloud Page. Download Soulwork for free at:
Not only do Urban’s releases feature live instrumentation but his live performance now does as well. His live performance has split into three types: 1) digital vinyl with turntables; 2) live synthesizer/DJ hybrid, and 3) live synthesizer with a full band. His live synthesizer/DJ combo as Urban and full band performances with Ganja Zulu have been bringing a new sound and energy to electronic music that you can hear at Cervantes, the Denver Art District, and now Sonic Bloom. The future of electronic music is live, and Urban is no exception.