LoFi Chill: “Isolation” – rich, textured, and grand in sound and imagery

LoFi Chill is a U.S. based music producer. His style includes elements of lofi hip-hip, chillhop, and chillwave. “Isolation” is his fourth album release. Previous albums include “Optimism”, “For Lovers Only”, and “These Are The Days”. The producer describes the idea behind the album as feeling a deep sense of disconnection while living in heavily populated urbanized areas. Despite the modern-day reclusive and disuniting theme, this album seems literally tailor-made to relax and zonk you out whether it’s been a long day at work taking shit from the boss, or waking up to an unbearable hangover after a night on

Recklous: “Friends and Fam” – a heavy dose of personal scrutiny and a dash of harsh reality

It’s pretty hard to believe that rapper Recklous only dropped his first professionally produced track at the beginning of 2017. Over the years leading up to now, Santa Cruz’s very own lyrical wonder has balanced three personas: The reserved, well-mannered kid, an uplifting positive artist full of ambition and wisdom and an emcee whose love for hard hitting Hip Hop and lightening quick raps defines his sound. Slowly the first began to fade, leaving the remaining two in clear vision. Finally Recklous’ latest studio project is on its way, with a brand new single giving fans a clear picture of

Groove State: “Light Up The Sky” holds a lot of weight

Australian Indie Electro/Pop group Groove State draw their influences from the likes of Icona Pop, Major Lazer, Sia, Charlie XCX and David Guetta.  The duo consists of Lisjana on vocals, and producer DJ Deep G, who have reached Top 20 USA National Club Chart success (FMQB, DJ Times),  heavy rotation on dance radio airwaves and mix shows around the globe, as well as being a songwriting Finalist in The World’s #1 Songwriting Competition ISC. Groove State’s music has been placed in major TV & Film features, and have secured licensing deals with Nokia, Red Bull, Rip Curl, Sony Entertainment UK

Roger Cole & Paul Barrere: ‘Lost In The Sound’ – their most rewarding record yet!

If you are a Radiohead fan, with a penchant for legends like Pink Floyd and King Crimson, then Roger Cole & Paul Barrere will be an easy band to fall in love with. Thick haunting atmosphere, lots of bleeps and beeps, intense melodies, beautiful vocals and mystery-veiled lyrics, are part of the deal on their latest, freshly baked album “Lost in the Sound”. The riffs and parts are tight, intense little affairs with so much power as to build a cinematic degree of tension. These are well-oiled high-thread-count arrangements that draw their texture from an array of stringed instruments and

Rev. Peter Unger gains traction on his timely song “Christmas Cards”

As Christmas fast approaches, reverend Peter Unger is set to gain traction on this timely song “Christmas Cards”. Several websites have just featured the song and his YouTube views are starting to accelerate. Here’s a little more about the influence of the song and background of Peter: When Peter Unger was growing up, Christmas was a magical time for his family and him. He grew up in a small town in Vermont, and lived on the side of mountain three miles up a dirt road. Peter’s home was a beautifully renovated farm house from the 1700s. On a clear winter’s

Rahul Mukerji: “Ma De Re Sha” balances the obtuse with the accessible!

Rahul Mukerji is a ‘guitarist’s guitarist’ who revels in a self-penned musical hybrid shot through with intensity, precision and plenty of ethnic flavorings. His 11 track album “Ma De Re Sha” is a big sounding recording with enough of twists and turns to make Rahul’s solos sound both dynamic and interesting. The opening track “Exit 13” sets the outline tones of this collection of songs. It balances lyrical eclecticism with an Indian twist while his incredible chops help him forge his own style. There are plenty of incendiary guitar breaks and harmony guitar parts, but Rahul also demonstrates a lightness of

Triple threat alternative rock artist Zachary Ray

Born in Rhode Island, Zachary Ray is a Danish/American musician residing in Los Angeles. He was introduced to Metallica and Eminem at age 5, by his mother and stepfather, and became wildly obsessed with drumming. Hence his grandma from Rhode Island gave him his first drum set. Ray later took drum lessons and eventually also learned to play the guitar. This was followed by singing, which gave Zachary Ray the musical combination to perform and record with absolute artistic freedom. His latest release, is the single ”Trouble”. How long have you been performing and recording, and did you record or

Nega Blast X: “The Experiment” – this caliber and artistic conviction is required for this art to evolve

There’s really no words to describe the sound of Nega Blast X. The Burbank music arranger, author and digital artist, Dominic R Daniels, sole proprietor of the Nega Blast X project, is in a realm of his own and hardly many can touch that artsy creativity he has under the hood. Based in the trance, techno and industrial idioms since 2010, Daniels is inspired by Daft Punk, Orbital, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult and The Mutaytor. “The Experiment”, Nega Blast X’s third album is released on Amazon, Spotify, iTunes, and all other major digital download stores. Artistically speaking, Nega

Tisabel: “GENRE HOPPING” bristles with energy and artistic audacity

Longtime Musical director and vocalist Tony Isabel aka Tisabel boasts an unprecedented skill set. He writes, arranges, sings, plays, and performs. He busts taboos, flashes unstoppable ambition, blends genres together like paint. Soulful ballads and funky grooves, ambient new age soundscapes, Hip-hop fantasy, and divine EDM devotion. For these qualities alone, he deserves respect. However, as you know, respect is also kind of a bullshit concept. Your favorite songs may not grace anyone else’s mixes; your favorite artists may not have ever left town. A century of recorded music has given us a galaxy of worthy tunes. But the gravitational

Lee Lee Lanea: “Basswhipped” resonates gloriously

Beats aren’t gendered. So why are we still in the dark ages when it comes to gender equality in the music studio? Women represent less than 5% of music producers and engineers. Yes, the music industry—like every industry on this patriarchal planet—is sexist. That is not news. But this means we’re missing out on a whole world of sounds, stories, and perspectives. Our culture has systematically ingrained this idea that technology is more of a man’s thing. Then of course there’s the fact that most men get freaked out when women do things better than them or even as good

Close up with Rocker Rick Shaffer

Prolific recording rock artist, Rick Shaffer, is a founding member of the Philadelphia band, The Reds©, whose first self-titled album on A&M records, was produced by David Kershenbaum. It highlighted a blend of Rick Shaffer’s guitar and Bruce Cohen’s keyboards. The album was supported with live appearances with The Police, Joe Jackson, Blondie, The Ramones, The Psychedelic Furs, and Public Image. Shaffer has also done plenty of studio work and features on the Marianne Faithfull album (Island); Hilly Kristal’s, “Mad Mordechai” (Stereo Society); Peter Murphy’s, “Holy Smoke” (Beggars Banquet/BMG); and Marc Almond’s, “Fantastic Star” (Some Bizarre/Mercury); as well as writing, producing and recording, “Looking For Right,” for the film, “Collateral,” directed by Michael Mann. 2017 also marks Rick Shaffer’s eighth solo album, “STOLEN MOMENTS”, which was inspired by the concept that there are no guarantees or promises in life.

  1. Where did the songs on your eighth solo album, “STOLEN MOMENTS” come from, have you been storing them away and waiting for the right moment, or did inspiration suddenly hit you?

Rick Shaffer: All my albums are written in the moment prior or during the current recording. Although the track “Other One” was a lyrical idea kicking around a while. The musical idea of “Other One” was to wrap Neil Young’s “Cortez The Killer” around Television’s “Marquee Moon” guitar atmospherics. The overall song material is written in a stream of consciousness.

  1. You were joined by Teddy Rixon (bass) and Stevie Carlisle (drums) on your new album, how did that affect the writing and recording process, were you in control the whole time, or was it more of a process where everyone left their mark?

Rick Shaffer: The rhythm section rolls with the songs presented, they play what they’re feeling and we take the song and sounds to where the production is realized. Teddy comes from the Bill Wyman / Ronnie Lane school of bass, and Stevie is a Nick Knox / Mo Tucker guy, and both are perfect for this album. We recorded twenty-two tracks and put together the ten that made the most sense continuity wise. Producing the material myself, gives me the freedom to get the tracks just how I imagined them in my head. It’ all about groove, vibes and tones.

  1. Okay, so we’ve discussed how the album was made, but for someone who is sitting on the fence, why should they grab themselves a copy of “STOLEN MOMENTS”?

Rick Shaffer: There’s no sitting on the fence. If you want some raw, aggressive, real rock-n-roll then jump on board. If you’re looking for the over produced, over thought out and, to these ears, boring, corporate projects, I’m not your guy.

  1. We always like to ask which artist and bands influenced you to pick up the electric guitar in the first place and who is inspiring you today?

Rick Shaffer: A bunch of artists, but early Stones, which led to the blues masters like Muddy Waters, Slim Harpo, Fred Mc Dowell and the great Magic Sam. Later the sixties and seventies rockers Bowie / Ronson, Iggy and the Stooges, Free, Lou Reed, and Mitch Ryder. A guy that I’ve been listening to lately is Bo Carter and the Mississippi Sheiks.  I always focus on what I would call the “long game” artists like Link Wray, Van Morrison, Iggy Pop and Muddy Waters, people that continue to keep working on their sound.  The production sound was an interest also, like the Phil Spector Gold Star recordings, Chess Records, Motown and lots of the indie 60’s garage sounds.

  1. Was there a definitive moment when you knew you wanted to be a guitarist?

Rick Shaffer: I think it was more of a cumulative addiction, always tone, hooks and guitar riffs, hearing Keith Richards “Satisfaction,” B.B. King’s “Live at the Regal,” Peter Green’s “English Rose,” and the wonderfully distorted Link Wray’s “Rumble.”

  1. Do you remember your very first guitar and do you still own it?

Rick Shaffer: My first guitar was purchased from the Sears and Roebuck department store and was an acoustic Silvertone for $25 bucks which led to my first electric “Danelectro Longhorn” like Link Wray played. Unfortunately, I do not own them today.

  1. Your first gig: disaster, success, or long forgotten?

Rick Shaffer: I still remember the noise, the beat and crowd. I loved it and thought this is for me. How good the performance was — I don’t remember any negative crowd response, or being hit with anything, and there was a lot of dancing, so it was a success.

  1. What’s your favorite bit of musical gear in your collection, and what’s the latest addition you’ve made, or are wanting to make?

Rick Shaffer: My 1960’s Framus guitars are favorites, along with my 1961 Supro Ozark.  So it comes down to a few to get the colors and character on each song. The Premier Reverberation unit and the Mahoney Cal Tone fuzz pedal are essentials. Two new important additions on this album are a 1971 Framus “Caravelle” and ‘Embargo” pedal designed by Ant Farm Amplification that’s a take on the original Rangemaster. And I’ve been looking for a Hornby Skewes treble booster.

  1. It may seem like an odd question to ask as you’re still very much in the prime of your career, but what do you look back on as your proudest moment so far?

Rick Shaffer: The work my partner Bruce Cohen and I did working with director Michael Mann, and playing live the original line-up of The Reds on tour with Blondie, Police, The Ramones, and Joe Jackson.

  1. To get back to the album, “STOLEN MOMENTS,” when you aimed to recreate The Stooges “Fun House” production style in the studio, was it because you wanted to sound authentic, or were you trying to avoid an ultra-clean modern production sound?

Rick Shaffer: I didn’t aim for the “Fun House” production, as much as using it for inspiration to my own sound. It came through a bit in the recording process, because generally my production has a heavy lean on distortion and is consistently anything but clean. I think recoding live on a Scully 280 gives that early 70’s sound, and on tracks “Time Stays” and “Call My Name” we switched to a Ampex 4-track for that early Stones / Pretty Things sound. For me, the tracks “All I Want,” “Modern Lie,” “Other One,” “One In Five” and “Danger Awaits” really come the closest to The Stooges “Fun House” sound.

  1. In the UK and Europe music magazines and websites they’re incredibly pessimistic. After another year of declining sales of guitar music, everyone seems ready to proclaim the death of rock?

Rick Shaffer: Fuck em, there will always be rockers. What did that old Neil Young say? “Rock and roll can never die.”

  1. As a great guitarist in your own right, and as a former member of a highly successful act how do you respond when you hear commentators talking that way about guitar-based music?

Rick Shaffer: They’re morons that need something to write about and just show their intelligence, or lack there of.

  1. Is there an artist whose music you love that might surprise our readers?

Rick Shaffer: Sixties artist Laura Nyro, because her lyrics, imagery and intensity is a beautiful thing.

Rick Shaffer

  1. Is there a guitar or bit of equipment you remember being excited about buying in the moment, but now look back and just shake your head?

Rick Shaffer:  That would be a sixties Gibson SG Standard that didn’t have enough bite for me.

  1. In your eyes, what makes a great guitarist?

Rick Shaffer: Tone, memorable riffs and songwriting. Jimi Hendrix is one of the few artists that had the whole package.

  1. Time to annoy our guitar obsessed readers: the best guitar in the world is?

Rick Shaffer: The all purpose Fender Stratocaster . God bless Leo Fender.

  1. What is the best piece of advice regarding the music business that you actually followed so far, and what is the advice you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?

Rick Shaffer: Play it like you feel it, never give up, block out the noise and write your own material. The worst decision ever was A&M Records insisting The Reds use The William Morris agency to book our live dates. Because it meant firing Ian Copeland, a person we really loved, who was our original booking agent.  A bad moral and business mistake I felt at the time, but didn’t follow through on because of the record label agenda.

  1. How would you personally describe your music, in the length of a Tweet, to someone who has never heard your stuff before?   

Rick Shaffer: I don’t tweet, but I am on Facebook (facebook.com/TheRedsMusic).

  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?

Rick Shaffer: Yes, they’re good tools to reach a larger audience, especially to connect with fans. Real talent will emerge in the long run, there has always been “short timers.”

  1. What is the one thing you have never ever been willing, or prepared to do, in your quest to sustain a successful musical career?

Rick Shaffer: Sell out the music for the bucks, or for anybody.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – TWITTERFACEBOOK

Get this FREE DOWNLOAD on SOUNDCLOUD!

About The Author

Reply