- Raw intensity meets laid-back chill on the LA beatmaker's latest.
- There's a common thread that weaves between many of my favourite artists. It's a sense of ambiguity in their work, and a "take-what-you-need" artist-to-listener exchange which means your own personal listening experience is just that—not restricted to a stringent narrative or concept in any major way. Rather, they've made the music for their reasons, and you listen and enjoy for yourself.
LA-based beatmaker Shlohmo is among those artists. His output, in particular recent work like 2019’s The End LP or his latest EP Heaven Inc., strikes a fine balance between raw intensity and so-laid-back-its-horizontal chill. His music is emotional, explorative and angsty, but stripped of big-budget dramatics and outpourings of overt feelings. The messaging is far more subliminal, Shlohmo conversing with his listeners via subtle genre switch-ups (downtempo, ambient, hip-hop and trip-hop among those he toys with), meditative tempos and anxious effects.
All four songs on Heaven Inc. seem to stem from the same headspace and writing perspective. None of them are hugely distinguishable from one another when heard fleetingly; their differences in mood and unique complexities only unravel and reveal themselves when listened to on a deeper level. Opener "Heaven Inc." is a glitchy slow-builder that picks up right where The End left off. Lead track "Looking At Plants" is perhaps the brightest of the bunch, a little more melodic as it meanders down a trip-hop-ish road. Latter two tracks "Misanthrope" and "Nice & Shiny" are closer to each other in spirit as they offer a kind of maximalist fantasy built on a minimalist scale. This is music to help you feel.
01. Heaven Inc.
02. Looking At Plants
04. Nice & Shiny