"Shlomoshun Deluxe" by Shlohmo

Shlohmo
Shlomoshun Deluxe

Friends of Friends
2010

Review

For fans of the beat scene, or pixel music scene, or whatever the hip term is at the moment for downtempo electronic music made with lots of computerized sounds, "Shlomoshun Deluxe" is perfect for you. However, this is an album for the hardest of the hardcore pixel-heads. There is nothing here that I would qualify as "accessible". This isn't a "challenging" album so much as it is an album that tailors itself perfectly to a very specific audience. I fear that if you are not in that group, you may be turned off. I mean, this is as esoteric to the beat scene as a Kool Keith record might be to the Hip-Hop scene.

Here's the thing. Something like that latest Flying Lotus album really tries to span multiple genres. Yes, there are bloops and beats, but there's also Funk, and Soul, and Jazz, and Hip-Hop. Shlomo ain't that despite a tangential relationship to Mr. Lotus.

Nope. Instead, this album here is on some sentient computers trying to take over the world type ish; this album is more like Dntel than Blockhead. Personally, I was quite comfortable with the sound having grown up on a (un?)healthy diet of video games...in particular RPG's. But yeah, this one here tends to be less catchy or easy to follow than the albums that are getting a lot of attention from mainstream media outlets (well, the ones that would cover this random obscure beat-scene type stuff).

Here's what I mean. Put some headphones on, and listen to the opening of "Spoons". What you are going to hear is an almost uncomfortable buzzing sound in your ears that gradually changes to become something more like an aural massage. Then the bloops and bleeps come and conspire to create something that you actually start to vibe along to. However, the sound is uncomfortable at first but familiar to us gaming nerds. As the sound gradually builds, you start to discover a groove that you can follow along to. But how many people are really in this demographic that are going to be able to appreciate this (you, dear reader and the other 3 people who know about this page).

Ironically, my favorite track on the album is the Low Limit remix of "Anitgravity" which adds some much-needed levity and additional rhythm to the original.

For the most part, I think that is indicative of my minor gripe with the album - that it takes itself too seriously. I like zoning out and being pensive as much as the next moody mofo, but after becoming used to a bit more playfulness thanks to folks like RJD2 and Flying Lotus, the serious side of the bloop (or is it "blip") sort of wears me down.

There are also 4 remixes on here. Normally I'm not a fan of extending the album length by tacking on a few remixes. However, these remixes are generally better versions of the songs, and in the case of the Low Limit remix of "Anitgravity" a revelation by comparison. So I can't be too mad at these remixes.

I enjoyed this album, really I did. It's just that even I could recognize that it won't be for everyone. There's obviously a ton of talent on display, it just refuses to bend to be even a bit more accessible and to me, that seems to be a fault. I'm not saying that to sell-out and make turn this into a ringtone record, I just mean to say that it's OK to have fun with the music once in a while...and this is all very dramatic, very serious, very beep-tastic stuff that maybe could benefit from a smile or two.

3.833 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. Tomato Squeeze (02:51) 4
2. 7am (02:21) 3
3. Spoons (04:16) 4
4. Post Atmosphere (02:51) 5
5. Hot Boxing the Cockpit (03:41) 3
6. Dead Pixel (04:29) 4
7. Teeth (04:54) 3
8. Antigravity (03:21) 4
9. Hot Boxing the Cockpit (Tokimonsta remix) (03:31) 3
10. 7am (devonwho remix) (03:20) 4
11. Antigravity (Fulgeance remix) (04:24) 4
12. Antigravity (Low Limit remix) (03:27) 5