It’s great that Shantel’s back. You could easily say that he has played himself into our hearts with his last album "Higher Than The Funk" and especially with his charismatic DJ sets and live gigs that he recently performed with a full band at several European festivals. And now here’s his new album "Greatdelay".
Shantel started recording his new album early 1999 when he moved to Tel Aviv, Israel from his hometown Frankfurt am Main. Shantel started recording "Greatdelay" in the Israeli metropolis where, with the little equipment he had with him, he recorded with small string quartets, horn ensembles and the singer Efrat Ben-Zur. The pleasant climate, the breathtaking, energetic atmosphere that vibrates in Tel Aviv had a magic impact on Shantel. In Tel Aviv you can find the whole world and being the interface between orient and occident, it’s a highly inspiring place for artists. For Shantel, it had an important affect on the production on "Greatdelay", his fourth album.
As on his earlier albums, for "Greatdelay" Shantel was working hard to refine his sound further and experiment with new influences. The combination of acoustic and digital sounds, the work with guest musicians, small ensembles and orchestras on "Greatdelay" demonstrate, what Shantel has achieved recently. Some of the effects of these experiments you can hear on "L’Intro", the first song on "Greatdelay". A string quartet, a Bossa beat, an acoustic guitar, an airy and mellow vibe buzzes in this tune which at the same time is the ideal starting point for the twelve other tracks, that each represent a musical statement of their own. The songs and tracks are deep, they have soul and they are marked by cunning arrangements. The spatial sound that defines the sound character of the album holds it all together and gives "Greatdelay" it’s own special vibe.
The combination of acoustic instruments such as strings, guitars and horns with minimalist beats and grooves play a major role on "Greatdelay". But the most important instrument Shantel used during his production is the delay effect of his mixing desk. And that’s also why Shantel called his album "The Great Delay": During the recordings, Shantel used the almost classical effect used for the delaying of sound, as an instrument. "Because when you put a delay on certain elements while making music, the sounds start to fly, to be in suspense", Shantel says, "and at a certain point, the delay is not any longer an effect but an instrument, a sound generator of its own, with its own dynamic."
Musically, Shantel didn’t focus on one genre for "Greatdelay". The sound of the album is more of a specific vibe, like his DJ sets where he plays dub, house, breakbeats, bossa, batucada and music from the Balkans and the orient. Similarly, in the studio, where he works on sounds in suspense with his delay, he works the crowd with delaying the musical climax to the max. "Greatdelay" – for Shantel the delaying of all things is part of his whole philosophy. In love, as in life.