Imagine, if you will, a recording of live instruments reassembled, through electronic means, into a collage of impossible live performances. Imagine this collage then taken by the author and used as a backing track for a live band. Dissatisfied with the result, the author then disassembles, and reassembles, everything once again.
This is Shmu. Shmu is a project & a person blurring the lines between the two. Rather than scrapping each iteration, Sam Chown (Shmu) recycles. The constant recycling leaves us with something that is at once both familiar and completely unique.
This distillation process leaves the end result to sound like the last four decades of popular music, compressed and remembered in a hazy dream.
Shmu taught himself a variety of instruments at a very young age. As a multi-disciplinary virtuoso, the Berklee grad has steadily found new ways to combine technical ability with emotional content. Growing from Shmu’s other concurrent project, Zorch, the more sympathetic, shoegazey and psychtronic, Shmu expresses the complete spectrum of the human experience. It is joyful, angry, nostalgic, tranquil, manic, and everything in between.
As Shmu, Chown has been home recording home demos since 2003, but didn’t release a proper debut until 2009’s Discipline/Communication (reissued in 2012.) Yet long before it became an official project with a name, Chown would write, record, and catalog songs, playing all he instruments himself. He started at age four, and to date he’s amassed over 200 albums worth of material.
To this day, Chown plays nearly all the instruments on his recordings, as well as producing, arranging & doing a good portion of mixing and mastering.
Sam Chown aka Shmu has also worked with Top 40 pop/hiphop producers such as Boi 1da, the Maven Boys, Megaman, Liz Rodrigues & many more.