I've oft talked about the cluster of producers who make up the beat scene, beat science and what ever the mot du jour is, as an interesting take on hip hop. Ultimately, many of them start in hip hop production, venture into experimental, but some do break away from the mass and are able to reach much more fertile ground. See Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke and a very limited group of others as examples of members of that elite band of brothers. IMHO, pls add the following name to that group: Shlohmo.
I've seen Shlohmo's and more importantly heard the maturation of his sound, well beyond his years, and quod erat demonstrandum: Bad Vibes LP
Shlohmo's been able to capture an emotion that i once described as melodious melancholy, creating a gloomy, Stygian soundtrack but somehow still sustaining some warmth akin to the mild flicker of a glim.
Bad Vibes might be an anti beat tape in that it swings from tracks paralleling a dramatic score fraught with dark segments, at times best fitting to visuals from The Grudge (like in Trapped In A Burning House), to brighter moments but still measurably slow like in Just Us and tracks like It Was Whatever.
Part field recordings, part live instrumentation, part drum machines and part samples, Shlohmo's ingredients blend beautifully, bringing balance to the 14 track recording, like it does in Seriously (one of my other faves).
Ultimately, the totality of the LP can be summarized in 2 words: Bad Vibes. Though moonless moods seemingly predominate, there's this puzzling amorous aura, this quasi romantic undertone that makes this Bad Vibes record one my current faves, and one that should again distance him from any of the beat producers in it's maturity and daring, but also endear him with new listeners who might have yet to hear of Shlohmo.
and also listen to Just Us via pitchfork as well.
Bad Vibes is available now worldwide.