Welcome to the world of Rhian Sheehan, where acoustic melancholy meets synthesised soundscapes in an electronic mind meld, taking the listener on a rich and rewarding musical journey. Organic instruments are married to a computer-based bed of lush layered sounds. Intangible emotion is summoned from synthesised sounds. Sampled soundbites and snippets of dialogue are contextually redefined. No more than an assembly of simple sonic elements, no less than an ultimately unique & personal musical vision – this is the Paradigm Shift.
Rhian Sheehan's debut, Paradigm Shift offers an all-encompassing overview of his broad musical vision. The opening sheen of the album’s intro is overlayed with radio coverage of the fall to Earth of the Russian Mir space station over the Pacific Ocean in March 2001, before the album kicks into life with a gasp and the crisp beats of synth-driven second track 'She Walks Into Mine'. The following track is Rhian’s most collaborative effort yet – highlighted by the sublime vocals of Lotus Hartley, 'Waiting' also features Wellington musicians Tehi (Fat Freddy’s Drop) and Darren Mathiassen (TrinityRoots) and benefits from the studio wizardry of producers George Nepia III and Jeremy “50Hz” Geor.
Elsewhere on the album, further friends and family are enlisted for assistance – Devon Abrams of Shapeshifter plays saxophone on 'Garden Children' and Rhian’s two month old daughter Niva has her say on 'Childsmind'. 'Air On A Bass String' and 'An Afternoon On The Moon' are built upon wandering recycled jazz loops, while gentler moments such as 'My Absolution' and 'Journey To Wakatuhuri' strip the sonics back to lay bare Rhian’s acoustic roots. 'Waiting' is reprised with the gentle drum & bass 'Sea Of Tranquility' remix and field recordings gathered in New Zealand's scenic Abel Tasman National Park permeate 'Connected', which closes the journey more definitively.