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Shlomo – On tour with VoiceLive 2 and VoiceTone Synth
Shlomo currently holds the impressive and enviable title of World Loopstation Champion, which he recently achieved in Los Angeles during the 2011 Winter Namm show earlier this year. And, it’s not hard to understand why – to hear Shlomo perform live, it’s quickly apparent that you’re witnessing true genius at work! Breathtakingly skilled vocals, with a wonderfully down to earth and playful demeaner on stage. As a member of the listening audience, you’re momentarily transported into a world of fun with complex beats and loops made to look easy.
He’s been making music since he was tiny. “I got my first drum kit when I was 8 and inadvertently started making beatbox noises as a way to practise rhythms. I always wanted to be surrounded by music and wasn’t allowed to practice my drums after 6 pm and Top of the Pops was on at 7pm . All I wanted to do was learn the drum beat from the latest no.1 song. At the time, I didn’t even know that what I was doing was called Beatboxing.”
“I spent 2 or 3 years touring as a beatboxer doing Snoop Dog and Jay-Z beats to making the crowd cheer and never really wrote and of my own music. After this I did a collaboration with Bjork when she made an album of entirely vocal music. She wanted to use my beats for this and that really inspired me to expand my beatboxing and come up with my own songs. Some songs I write using a Loopstation and others I write for the Vocal Orchestra which is my 8-piece Beatbox troupe. When I write for those guys I record 8-part arrangements into Logic on my laptop, which I then score out for the group to learn.”
During his recent solo tour “Mouthtronica” Shlomo has been using the VoiceLive 2 and VoiceTone Synth extensively – “I’m just finishing a theatrical one-man show which has been amazing, mostly playing in 400-600 capacity theatres. Over the summer I play at festivals, often more like 10,000 – 50,000 people which is a totally different game. I’m using the VoiceLive 2 mainly for EQ and compression. I’ve never really used many effects on my voice until I got the VoiceLive 2, so I’m still playing around, but I love using the delays, reverbs and pitch shifters. It’s the first time I’ve toured with an effects unit, and it’s really opened up the options of what can be done with the voice.”
“I love using the delays, reverbs and pitch shifters.”
“It’s also really nice to have products which are specifically designed for the voice. Normally I feel like I’m tagging along to someone else’s party as all the looping equipment is mainly based around other instruments. The VoiceLive 2 and VoiceTone Synth are really good fun and I love the spontaneity they bring to my performance. It’s really useful especially when I show up at festivals where you get little or no soundcheck time! It gives me real peace of mind knowing that I can send them a signal with the EQ and effects perfectly tuned to my voice.”
We asked Shlomo about what it is about the VoiceLive 2 that helped him as a beatboxer and a looping artist – “I think the best thing about the VoiceLive 2 as a looping artist is having the ability to access all your effects individually with one push of a button. Other pedals that I’ve used before required going through different menu’s to set a delay for instance. With the VoiceLive 2, I can simply push the button and it’s there. It’s really nice that it’s all so self-contained. It’s great to have all your options there without having separate pedals.
With looping your brain needs to be one step ahead of your hands, feet and instrument at all times. The other really important skill is to be able to think on your feet, because things often happen that you aren’t expecting! If you’re willing to improvise and work around the surprises, you often come up with even cooler stuff.”
Shlomo is also using the VoiceTone Synth on his current solo tour – “The VoiceTone Synth is great for turning your voice into one big fat bass line. When you put the distortion on those bass lines it sounds fantastic! That’s mainly what I use it for at the moment. When I need that specific Trance sound – it’s there!”
“The VoiceTone Synth is great for turning your voice into one big fat bass line. When you put the distortion on those bass lines it sounds fantastic!”
His musical heroes are diverse but they include Stevie Wonder, The Prodigy, Keith Jarrett and Paul Simon just to name a few. When he really feels the need to be inspired his song of choice to listen to is “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson.
Why not keep up with Shlomo at:- http://www.shlo.co.uk/