Shlohmo – Vacation EP

Shlohmo – Vacation
Friends of Friends: 2012

Shlohmo’s latest release, Vacation EP, is a beat and vocal meshing that exists as a darker extension to his full-length debut, Bad Vibes. This EP is yet another product of LA’s innovative word-of-mouth label, Friends of Friends, which has yet to put out a bad beats album. Of course, the Vacation EP is no exception. This album is an ambient-organic laptop timepiece with two faces depending on the volume. Turn it down and it plays like a gentlemen, or turn it up and it hits like the gentlemen’s body guard. Both settings provide that subtle grace that defines Shlohmo’s style.

This three-track album opens with “The Way U Do” layering 8-bit drones and organic beats over battery-powered vocals. Perhaps it’s just a matter of personal taste, but the chipmunk voice is not normally appealing. Oddly enough the high speed, high pitch filter on that looping voice accents the slow rolling ambience of the 8-bit drone. This take on chipmunk vocals is no more distracting than it is reminiscent to sounds of the chipmunk setting on an early ‘90s Talkboy. By refraining from actual lyrics, the voice exits as an instrument rather than a character.

Melodies don’t consist of one definable sound bouncing around on a scale, but rather a collection of various organic and digital specs, shot gunned at a scale with accuracy and purpose. The track “wen uuu” does just that. Where a single instrument can’t go, Shlohmo envisions melodies with as much variety as an orchestra, and then builds them from scratch.

“Rained the Whole Time” delves back into actual instrumentation. Guitar play assists a deep growling voice and metallic percussion. Again, the lack of lyrical substance creates an interesting atmosphere, which is dark, mumbling and ambient. The subtleties on this album could account for its briefness. Now, if we could just get Shlohmo to grace us with another full-length album.

★★★★☆
4 out of 5

2 thoughts on “Shlohmo – Vacation EP

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  1. great review of a great release

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