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White Noise: Shlohmo – Places EP

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Shlohmo – Places EP


Forgot I Was Here

In order to carve some space out for yourself in the blossoming LA beats scene you have to do something a little different. Whether it's Flylo's ADHD composition, Baths' tremulous vocals or Nosaj Thing's swipe at dubstep, you need to have something unique about your music, even in such an intriguing genre so reliant on precision and mood. From Shlohmo's most recent release, Places, it seems that he's decided to take the whole thing to a deeply laid-back place, sacrificing hard beats for relaxing distant melodies and clattering beats that caress rather than attack your ears.

At only 4 tracks it's short even for an EP, but these beautifully textured pieces are all worth a few listens to fully take in and devour. Opener Places is the most nakedly beautiful track on here, using lazy guitar strings and snappy but relaxed beats that swim dazedly beneath his wordless vocals. This release is a surprising turn for Shlohmo for two reasons: firstly it deliberately subdues the energy of his earlier beat-sketches to craft something more introverted and melancholy, and secondly he uses no samples on this EP, instead crafting a lofi sound with his guitar, vocals and deft beats. These tracks are steeped in emotion such as Forgot I Was Here which is another stunner; the beats linger under a pretty interplay between steel guitar and piano, allowing an ambient guitar wash to sweep over its second half. Things I Lost is a deeper affair with ticking beats that seem to occur naturally in the dark soundscape crafted with heavy low-end reverb attracting the ears. Closer Empty Pools is a pretty and beatless exploration into shimmery guitars and natural effects, lingering lazily up until the close.

The EP is so beautifully natural as an electronic composition that it feels a shame there are only 4 tracks, but each one is a gentle, exquisite gem more than worth the time taken to explore and love them. So switch it on and get very lost in these lovely and lazy tracks, and we can look forward together to his LP due out in August.


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