Shlohmo: The Well-Rounded Beatmaker

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In "Rained the Whole Time," Shlohmo knits together a 360-degree scene in the mind's eye. i

In "Rained the Whole Time," Shlohmo knits together a 360-degree scene in the mind's eye. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist
In "Rained the Whole Time," Shlohmo knits together a 360-degree scene in the mind's eye.

In "Rained the Whole Time," Shlohmo knits together a 360-degree scene in the mind's eye.

Courtesy of the artist

Friday's Pick

Song: "Rained the Whole Time"

Artist: Shlohmo

CD: Vacation EP

Genre: Electronic

In a workshop of beatmakers, Shlohmo is the multi-tool. Working in the rapidly evolving field of electronic music, Henry Laufer has proven himself increasingly versatile and handy with not only synthetic elements, but also real instruments. Sometimes a San Francisco art-school student but more lately an L.A. beat-scene savant, Laufer makes music that's soft-spoken and aloof, but he nonetheless carves out a comfortable niche amid his more established peers.

In "Rained the Whole Time," Laufer knits together a 360-degree scene in the mind's eye: a moody mid-range atmosphere, bounded by vivid horizons, with a central beat at the tune's focal point. The percussive centerpiece splits and pivots like a Rubik's cube in the hands of a master puzzler. A rich sub-bass lurks deep in the mix, dredged up only with the help of a good subwoofer. Finally, there's the low, breathy humming — a unmistakably human sound, sampled and re-sampled — resting at stereo dead-center as if it were emitting from the listener's own vocal cords.

"Rained the Whole Time" comes from the seductive new Vacation EP, which continues Shlohmo's trend toward sounds akin to James Blake rather than his own L.A. contemporaries. The other two tracks provide escapes in and of themselves, each glinting with R&B flavor and brooding allure.

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