Golden Age Against The Machine is a total passion play. A living audio love letter to The Golden age of hip-hop. For Shawn this spans the early 80s to mid 90s. Like many other musicians, sample based production effected him deeply. It permeated the how and what of his musical performances. The sonic qualities of his productions, the arrangements and his drumming, in fact his whole approach.
Hip-hop at it’s best was fresh raw and unconventional. There is something magical about grabbing a loop from an old funk record and layering it with some strings from an easy listening record and pitching down a horn stab from a jazz record and a guitar lick from a psych rock Record and then pinning it down with a fat beat!!!
Shawn loves the pick and mix aesthetic of hip-hop music. His personal connection goes back to the early 80s, playing live accompaniment on drums vamping on Chic’s Good Times while budding rappers would pass the mic doing their bedroom rhymes. A year or 2 later, playing Rufus’ Ain’t Nobody while b-boys break danced to it. From there, he moved on to programming beats on Linn drums, Dmx’s, SP 12 & 1200’s and MPC drum machines. Not to mention, he is the same “Shawn Lee” that made all those drum break records back in the 90’s. So he’s not new to this, simply true to this!!!
In terms of inspiration, Prince Paul and De La & and his old friends The Dust Brothers producing the Beastie’s Paul’s Boutique, laid down the gauntlet/blue print for sample based productions. 3 Feet High still stands tall for him after all this time. For Golden Age he employed a similar mind set for much of the album except for not using samples. He played everything from scratch, this includes every one note stab, lick and drum beat. Every little nugget a production in it’s own right. It certainly kept him busy and was a rewarding process. “There ain’t no school like the Old School Y’all “… This is Golden Age Against The Machine. Sure shot!!!!