THE SHIFT combines electronic and jazz instrumentation over driving house-inspired beats, and funky downtempo rhythms. Starting in 2001 as an experimental live/dj act, this Brooklyn group has since evolved into a full six-piece live act. With multiple international releases and an active live schedule, The Shift is establishing itself as one of the truly next-level acts in New York City.
House DJ Scottie B and local producer Chris Tempas used the name, The Shift, during their four-year tenure hosting the "Arts & Sciences" event at
Galapagos in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It began with DJs, and progressed with Tempas and Scottie adding computers and live percussion to the mix. Soon,
local musicians began to take notice and started sitting in. With a totally unique set list at each show, the roster changed with each performance as
well - at one point consisting of twelve performers. The source tracks of these events were released originally as the "Rejective Shift EP", later re-released on iTunes as the "Orange LP" in 2003. At this time the duo also released a single on vinyl; "Soco & Cheese / Big Pimpin'" was dubbed as "delicious house grooves alongside an empowering bass-funk." More success on wax followed when DJ Magazine (UK) labeled them "stalwarts" for their "jacking, chord-driven 'White Light'."
It was during this phase that the Shift acquired its third member, guitarist Brian Fegan. Fegan helped establish a consistent identity for The Shift, solidifying the live act into a cohesive group. By 2004, The Shift had established a lineup; adding sax player Michael Devillis, bassist Jeff Angell and vocalist Rhiannon. During the next few years, The Shift was featured at a series of high-profile live events, including
two-to-four-thousand attendance events at the D.U.M.B.O. Lunatarium, art openings at The Wonderland, a prime spot at the famed Second Sunrise Festival and multiple venues in Manhattan [Vibe, Anatomy], Brooklyn [Sputnik, Publik House], and elsewhere on the east coast.
That year, the first of the full band's vinyl releases began to receive critical acclaim across the boards. "Soulville" was described as "laid-back, with midtempo beats and a live-sounding feel that fans of Eighteenth Street
Lounge Music should dig." (URB Magazine) Later in 2005, The Shift released their fourth single "Cruisn'", on Blunted Funk Recordings; "...that funky soulful house thing they do so well." (DJ Times Magazine) Featuring "utterly amazing" (DJ Times) remixes by John Larner, Scottie B and Tempas, the record sold out in a matter of weeks. XLR8R Magazine described the release as "sax
and Rhodes keyboard flourishes over their scissor-clipped vocals and deep-dipping bass throbs...cruise to this."
Both of these funky dance tunes appear on their first LP, "Modified Times", along with a number of other Shift fan-favorites. One of their groovy
downtempo cuts, "Come Down", has recently been licensed to appear in the feature film, 5 Up, 2 Down, due for release in 2006. Other artists appearing on the soundtrack are Citizen Cope, Morley, Alchemist and a score by John Swihart (Napolean Dynamite). This and other more laid-back songs round out The Shift's "Modified Times" - an eclectic album for the ages.