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CJ Shadow - JPop.com
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CJ Shadow

CJ Shadow

CJ Shadow


Blending soundscapes in bio-technology labs in the darkest corner of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, is "Cj Shadow", who claims to be influenced by such Electronica artists as Jean Michel-Jarre, Kraftwerk and New Order... "I finished the album today .. I'm f**kin' knackered" was all this wide boy from Bexhill had to say on saturday night, as the lotto numbers were read out on TV, he must've known he'd won the jackpot already, such was the annoying grimace/smile on his face. Read more on Last.fm
Blending soundscapes in bio-technology labs in the darkest corner of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, is "Cj Shadow", who claims to be influenced by such Electronica artists as Jean Michel-Jarre, Kraftwerk and New Order... "I finished the album today .. I'm f**kin' knackered" was all this wide boy from Bexhill had to say on saturday night, as the lotto numbers were read out on TV, he must've known he'd won the jackpot already, such was the annoying grimace/smile on his face. There was no reason to ask for further comment as the man like Shadow had already disappeared behind a haze of smoke and shaving mirrors... Confused and disorientated, I decided to ask the man himself for further information on his past, present and future, as there was scant information on his other web pages strewn all over various unsigned artist and music sites - this is what I found: In 1989, at the tender age of thirteen, CJ Shadow began to experiment with music, using just an Amiga computer with a sampler. Having already spent several years in classical Piano tutition, subsequently learning to play the electronic organ, he was eager to find a way to create his own original sound. He became a raver in 1992, and before long was fully involved in the UK Rave scene. When the UK scene split into House and Hardcore schools, he followed the beats, to emerge a confirmed Drum&Bass Junglist by 1995.

Since then he has worked solidly on producing a breakbeat-driven sound, verging from the sublime to the downright nasty! Since the birth of Unborn Records, CJ Shadow aims to produce and promote a variety of Electronica music. So I called Cj Shadow AKA Rik Greenlow, and here's what he had to say: “Its not what you know, its who you know…” “You gotta’ know people. You can be the best DJ/MC/producer, but if you don’t know anyone, well, you’re not gonna’ get very far…” These quotes, the latter said by Sir Mampi Swift himself, have come to haunt the life of Rik Greenlow. He first heard Mampi say that whilst watching a Battle of the MC’s DVD from 2004. It seems incredibly obvious, yet Rik finds himself wondering how different his life would have been had he heard that quote with such resonance back in 1989.

That was when he first began making tunes on his Amiga 500 computer, and at 13 years of age it was decided that making music was all he wanted to do in life. Thus, the dream was born… Fast-forward 15 years; through the hazy clouds of the early 90’s Rave scene when ‘Chaos Theory II’ never left Rik’s walkman, past the heady Hardcore days of ‘92 and ’93, into ’94 with the sounds of underground Jungle Techno mixtapes and the first commercial ‘Jungle Mania’ releases, onwards to ’95 and ’96 when Rik virtually lived on Hastings Pier, Sussex, England, addicted to Jungle raving as personified by the many ‘Dangerous’ and later ‘Heat’ events he attended, beyond the unforgettable moment when he first heard the immortal tones of the late, great MC Stevie Hyper D calling out “Junglists are you ready”, through the difficult ’98 year, when Stevie passed away and Hastings Pier shut down, onto the late ’98 to 2001 period when ‘Pure Science’ at Atomics, Maidstone rocked his world, and beyond ’01 into an age of digital mp3 downloads, website building, self-publishing, label launching and studio production. Unborn Records (UK) t/a UBrecordz - New Year's News update, published on the 12th of January 2008. Production log / studio output report for CJ Shadow @ Headlong Studios, England -: CJ Shadow's creative focus, as well as his views on the vibrant and buzzing online community of underground Electronica/Dance music producers, changed quickly and dramatically throughout 2006. By early 2007, his various studio endeavours, although somewhat scant and unstructured, took on a much more defined, resonant and professional-sounding edge.

Psychologically, along with a new-found fascination with business concepts and Web 2.0 "Cloud Computing", shifted the focus of operations for Unborn Records during the time period from early to mid-2007. Keeping apace of the rapidly changing face of the UK (and indeed, the global) music market and witnessing the demise of the traditional 'music business', along with studying at Undergraduate level with the Open University, meant that the actual musical output from the label slumped dramatically during most of 2007. There was a definite lack of motivation to produce new music, only to upload it onto some 'Unsigned Artists' website, which was unnecessarily and incorrectly assumed to be doomed to extinction at any time, quite literally overnight. CJ Shadow also felt that he had so much material already produced, lying dormant somewhere in the studio as a 'work in progress' or something similar, that he shouldn't need to be thinking about producing whole new tunes laid down from start to middle to end all over the cutting room floor, so to speak.

Despite this, and the associated lack of brand new material, the man like Shadow still managed to release a full-length album, entitled 'Kitchen For No Reason (vol.1)'. The album features 18 tracks, of which 7 are shorts or skits, including a 'Dial-Up intro' and a 'Broadband intro'. These shorter tracks are undoubtedly evidence of the producer making direct use of the aforementioned 'unfinished' material, and used as skits they do work well, mixing up the mood and direction of the album. Perhaps CJ Shadow should release a 'work in progress' EP sometime in the non-too-distant future !? The 3 best tunes on Kitchen For No Reason, as highlighted by Unborn Records themselves, are as follows :- Track 2 : Hung Out To Dry - a very simple and yet hauntingly deep piano riff, reverbed to perfection, joins some beautifully sampled choir parts, recorded live outside Cj Shadow's local Anglican church, make this otherwise fairly tame Drum&Bass roller stand out as a real work of art. Track 14 : Every Day's The Same - okay, we're not going to say anything about this tune and the next one except - - L I S T E N ! ! Track 15 : Leave Me Alone - see Track 14. Kitchen For No Reason (vol.1) was released in early September, 2007 and distributed by an anonymous (and useless) now-defunkt 'Unsigned Artists' website, at a cost to the label of £50 for one year. To date, it has only ever sold 1 copy, as a full-album mp3 download.

CJ Shadow released the album on last.fm, distributing all 18 tracks as free digital downloads [available at http://www.last.fm/music/CJ+Shadow/Kitchen+For+No+Reason+vol.1] in September, 2010. ____________________ Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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