The Shaman is the latest single by international music ensemble Cracks in the Shell. Made up of musicians from around the world, the group’s new song comes from the ironically titled new album, “What Songs…?”

The members are based in varying regions including New York, Germany, Switzerland, Taiwan, Spain and more. 

Founding member Peter Koerfgen is a former resident of Johannesburg and is looking forward to connecting with old friends and new fans in South Africa with this new release. 

Koerfgen no longer lives in SA – he is now based in Basel, Switzerland and continues to hone his craft as a musician at the Basel Jazz School. The school has become a central point in the lives of the members of Cracks In The Shell, with many having studied or lectured there. 

The new album was mastered by Alex Wharton, Mastering Engineer at the World Famous Abbey Road Studios in London (The Beatles, Pink Floyd, etc). “This is really a very lovely, eclectic album,” says Wharton. His resume includes work with The Pixies, Coldplay, Paul McCartney and many more. 

Peter Koerfgen explains his fondness for South Africa:

“While living in RSA, I played several cover gigs with the Virgil Ellis band in the Johannesburg region, but mainly in his music club in Hillbrow. I was significantly influenced by the southern African grooves, adapted some bass line kicks and became inspired by various concerts performed by many bands there including Johnny Clegg, Cindy Alter and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. I also recorded songs at local studios and enjoyed the enthusiasm of and support from the public for their local bands.”

“Our groove for “The Shaman” uses a mixture of pop rock elements accompanied by African “kicks”. Three of our musicians lived in Africa: Myself in SA, the guitarist in Mozambique and the percussionist who grew up in Gran Canaria visited some neighbouring African countries frequently and learnt the African percussion techniques. This had a definite influence on the overall sound of the group.”

Peter Koerfgen explains who they worked with on the new album:

“Recording studio at pro ton music in Germany (Frank Schultz); Mastering at the world’s most famous Abbey Road Studios in London (Alex Wharton). Co-Producer André Buser, a leading bass player in Europe and teacher at the Jazz school Basel; Vic Hardt, drums, worked in the USA (with Peter Erskin and countless Jazz, Funk, Fusion and Rock productions), also teaches at the Jazzschool Basel; Julian Moreen, winner of the German jazz competition already at the age of 17, studied at Berklee college, Boston, and lived in the USA for 5 years, now 28, played in Taiwan in front of 50’000 people. Rolf Mosele, teaches guitar at music schools and played with very popular European Bands (also at the Montreux Jazz Festival). With his Mozambican wife, he produced 4 albums. Joerg Dittmann, singer from Mannheim, worked with musicians of Incognito, Dephazz, Söhne Mannheims. Sabrina Nuka teaches music at several schools and various bands of different styles in Paris and New York. Two guest musicians, each for one song (Beat Riggenbach on sax; René Mosele on trombone).”

Follow Cracks In The Shell here for more information: https://www.cracksintheshell.ch/

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