Shlomo Sonnenfeld is a composer/producer/engineer currently residing in the city of Tel Aviv. Born in Israel in the city of Haifa, Shlomo had started playing gigs around town with local bands at the age of 15. Couple of years later he had formed the band Impolite.
At the age of 21, After moving to New York City to attend the Institute of Audio Research for sound design and audio engineering studies, he was introduced to Charles Garrish (Upchuck), a punk rock singer from Seattle, ex Fags and Clone frontman, and together they started writing and recording under the name Such.
Their project (Chuck / lyrics and vocals and Shlomo/music and performance), is being released for the first time this summer as a part of a tribute album to Upchuck and is called “Upchuck -gone but not forgiven” . It is distributed by the Seattle based label Sub Pop (can be purchased at the sub pop store).
Back in 85, a year and a half into their project, Chuck was tested HIV positive and was forced to move back to Seattle, where he died a year later.
Shlomo was involved (playing guitar and writing) with few more New York bands, including “Act of God” with the Psychedelic Furs members Mars Williams, Joe Mcginty and Paul Garisto, and Illustrated man whose past members included Hugo Burnham of Gang of Four and Japan guitarist Rob Dean.
At that time, Shlomo started getting into the new art of sampling and has put together a small recording setup with engineer and friend Yoram Vazan.
Their first recording venture was an album with an unknown female rapper from Brooklyn called Mc Lyte. The record “Lyte as a rock” was released by the Staten Island based family label called First Priority and turned out to be a hip hop classic. (purchase here)
With his partner Yoram Vazan, he continued working on various First Priority records (which by then was bought by Atlantic records), and while breaking up their partnership and building a new private studio, Shlomo had received a tape of funky raw beats from a, then unknown Brooklyn kid, attending college in Houston, Texas. The kid Chris Martin is better known today as DJ Premier. The tape was brought to Shlomo by Atlantic records veteran, Stu Fine who was starting a label called Wild Pitch records. Stu had also mentioned a Boston college kid named Keith Elam, (a.k.a Guru,) a rapper, whose writing and rhyming style sounded unique in comparison to other rappers back then .Stu believed the two of them will sound good together.
Shlomo loved what he had heard and few weeks later Keith and Chris flew to New York and started working with him on few tracks that would become the first Gangstarr album “No More Mr. Nice Guy” including the single “Words I Manifest” and a song Gangstarr wrote with Shlomo called “Jazz thing”. The group had a hardcore east coast, minimalist ragged sound, with a unique jazzy “no quantize” swing feel to their tracks and it introduced funky raw beats, weird sounding samples, jazzy loops and scratches by Premier, and clever rhyming and writing by the Guru. That jazzy style would eventually lead Keith to the Jazzmatazz project.
While he continued working with Gangstarr (by then Wild Pitch records was bought by EMI), Shlomo was developing his production skills working with other hip hop acts such as Positive K, Lord Finesse, Umc`s, Easy Mo Bee and R.I.F, Diamond D, Showbiz, Grand Puba & Large professor to name a few.(full discography here)
He had then joined forces with “The characters” – a production duo based in Brooklyn that already scored a 5 million seller with Boyz 2 Men, and got a label deal with Epic records.
Shlomo was brought in to add a street edge to the “Characters” sound and worked with Troy Taylor (producer of Whitney Houston, Marry J Blige, Aretha Franklin, Patty La Belle) and Charles Farrar as a programmer/remixer/co producer on several projects: The all girl R&B group Oscar, The boys group “The Formula”, Trey Lorenz (Discovered by Mariah Carey), Third Ave and other remixes.
After 2 years doing R&B programming and production work, working mainly at Electric Lady studio C as their home based studio, Shlomo had met again with producer Axell kroell, and the two started writing, producing and developing new Hip Hop acts. Then he was signed to BMG as a songwriter.
In 1994 Shlomo had to return to Israel because of illness in his family, and there he worked on several productions as well as a solo project with local artists.
He has worked on experimental pieces based on Mahler 5th symphony for The Tel Aviv Museum and Has written music for national German TV as well as an one off project he has named ” Fight Club” (Next stop Baghdad) and experimental groove based music for film using mainly Ableton rewired to Reason .
These days he is writing and recording mainly for Lofilesmusic records, his own label, as well as writing this blog.