As a producer/DJ, Shlohmo likes to control the room. But it’s not all about making bodies move or forcing energy into tranquilized audiences. “If the crowd wants to chill out and hang their heads then I’ll vibe with them on that,” Shlohmo explained during an interview with The Village Voice. He’s not the first to take this approach, but he’s one of the most interesting doing it.
Shlohmo, or Henry Laufer, is part of a new wave of young producers (his team is the We Did It Collective) who are on some next-level, challenging, creative stuff. If mainstream production seems stale or manufactured, the bubbling underbelly of electronic, hip-hop, and pop music has more to offer than ever before, and it’s only a matter of time before it catches on in a major way.
When asked about collaborations with vocalists, Shlohmo said that it’s something he’d like to do and that he already has some things in the works. 2012 should offer some exciting original material, but for now, get familiar with Shlohmo’s style through his 10 best remixes.
Click “Next” or hit Shift+Right to read on and hear the remixes…
10. Waka Flocka Flame – “Hard In Da Paint (Shlohmo Remix)”
“Hard In Da Paint” is the type of song that makes you want to grow your hair out long and get it dreaded just so you can shake those dreads. But you can’t instantly grow dreadlocks, so instead “Hard In Da Paint” moves us dreadless to flail our arms, throw things, fight, or do sports. It’s hard to imagine “Hard In Da Paint” as anything other than a problem-starter, but Shlohmo’s disjointed, chilly remix does the impossible and almost makes “Hard In Da Paint” relaxing.
09. Soulja Boy – “Pretty Boy Swag (Shlohmo Remix)”
Over the years, we’ve seen Soulja Boy try out a few different directions. At times it seems like he’s throwing half-baked ideas up in the air and seeing what takes flight, and at other times it just seems like he’s trying really hard to bottle up whatever it is Lil B is pushing. Amidst it all, there are flashes of brilliance, but what he really needs is a drastic creative shift, and judging by this “Pretty Boy Swag” remix, some Shlohmo production would do the trick.
08. Gucci Mane – “I’m Da Shit (Shlohmo Remix)”
Part of the beauty of this one is that at its core, the production sounds like a hard-hitting banger. But the way Shlohmo has it pieced together, it feels like it’s ready to fall apart at any moment. Instead of a dusty snare or dramatic handclap, Shlohmo opts for a tin can. It’s unlike anything that Gucci would ever actually go in over, but the zoned out soundscape matched with La Flare’s delivery twists the usual trap style of Gucci into something more fit for an opium den.
07. Kelis – “Milkshake (Shlohmo Remix)”
Ever wished that Kelis was a little more like Burial? That’s exactly what Shlohmo’s “Milkshake” remix sounds like. The only recognizable part of the original is that “la la, la la la,” and that might be a good thing.
06. When Saints Go Machine – “Kelly (Shlohmo Remix)”
It’s a common narrative in a piece on Shlohmo remixes; he got his hands on a track, then turned it dark, woozy and infused it with bass. It might get boring if every iteration weren’t so good. For his “Kelly” remix he takes on the Danish indie-electronic outfit When Saints Go Machine and flips the funky, upbeat indie rock track into a sedated rap beat.
05. Toro Y Moi – “Fax Shadow (Shlohmo Remix)”
It’s not too often that Shlohmo makes a remix that’s more coherent than the original, but his take on “Fax Shadow” is an exception. The original from Toro y Moi is gently chaotic, but the Shlohmo Remix is smoothed out, tied together, and the trickling keys and atmospheric backdrop makes this rainy day remix one of his most complete and cohesive pieces of work.
04. Burial – “Shell Of Light (Shlohmo Remix)”
It takes a brave producer to take on Burial. In electronic music, there’s an aura around the innovative producer that pushes people to speak in hushed tones about him and his work, and choosing to remix a track off of the classic Untrue was an undoubtedly bold move by Shlohmo. It might not have seemed that bold to him, however, judging by how well the end product turned out and how much it makes sense once you’ve heard it.
He took the most beautiful moment on the album, stretched it out and imbued it with his own sensibilities and vision. It was a shift from Burial’s original, but proved that the legendary producer was not untouchable and amazing tracks could come out of reinterpretation – if you’re as good as Shlohmo, that is.
03. The Weeknd – “Crew Love (Shlohmo Remix)”
The Weeknd’s music is already dark and drugged out, but Shlohmo proves with his “Crew Love” remix that taking things to the extreme can be a good thing. Abel’s usual tone is one of a disconnected soul close to the edge, and Shlohmo just gave it him a little nudge.
02. DJ Khaled (Drake) – “I’m On One (Shlohmo Remix)”
“I’m On One” was already a good song, but if you’re going to make a song about being on one, you might as well make it sound like this. This isn’t that “I’m in the club and feeling drunk” track anymore, it’s that “Whoa, why is everyone suddenly looking like aliens” type of music.
01. Lianna La Havas – “Forget (Shlohmo Remix)”
“Forget” pulls in all Shlohmo’s druggy, spaced out vibes but still manages to keep things incredibly sharp. The first two minutes set the tone, but when those hi-hats come in at 2:00, it’s murder.