Last week on Wednesday, May 21, the A.S. Program Board brought up-and-coming artist Shlohmo to The Hub.
As the final show of his North American Tour, which started in April at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Shlohmo kept the energy of his initial performances going. With the school year coming to a close, this concert made an otherwise ordinary weekday (jam-packed with essays and all) exhilarating and sensational.
Shlohmo, the stage name for American electronic musician Henry Laufer, is a producer on the rise. His remixes have gotten more than five million plays on SoundCloud, including remixes of songs by LOL Boys, Purple and The Weeknd. His set at Coachella proved to be a rapid success, receiving many positive reactions from the electronic music community who fell in love with his addictive and trance-like songs.
When thinking of a way to describe the sound of Shlohmo’s creations, I could only refer to his stage name, “Shlohmo”: like “slow-mo,” or “slow-motion.” Although the genre is undeniably electronic, it is unlike the fast-paced, intense sounds I usually affiliate electronic music with. Instead, it is a lot slower and much more relaxing, with chilled beats, impassioned vocal samples and down tempo tunes.
On Wednesday, a line formed outside The Hub in eager anticipation of the show. Once let in, the audience enjoyed the sounds of both Nick Melons and Groundislava while waiting for Shlohmo. The three artists, along with a handful of others, combine to form a team entitled the WeDidIt Collective, which Shlohmo is a founding member of. Other artists in the collective include RL Grime and Ryan Hemsworth. Nick Melons and Groundislava both showcased their mesmerizing sounds, receiving a high-spirited response from the crowd.
I’ve never been to a show at The Hub before and was impressed at the intimate setting that the venue offered. I was able to get to the front row and felt up-close and personal to the performers.
Upon Shlohmo’s arrival on stage, the audience pushed forward and cheered enthusiastically. A tall young man dressed in all black welcomed and thanked us all for coming out, adding that he’d never been to Santa Barbara before; it was a new experience for all of us, which made it just that much more special.
Soon after, he began dropping beats and synthesizing melodies. It seemed as if everyone was in their own little world, enjoying the music by closing their eyes or swaying their bodies.
Shlohmo played many of his most-loved songs, some of which include his remix of “The Club” by Purple, “No More (feat. Jeremih),” “Bo Beep (Do U Right) (feat. Jeremih)” and his remix of “Changes” by LOL Boys. When he began playing the popular “Fuck U All the Time” remix, some members from the audience held up a hand-made sign that included the tombstone symbol of the WeDidIt Collective with a caption that stated, “I will fuck U all the time!” Shlohmo grabbed the microphone and pointed it out, laughing in appreciation of the fan’s creativity.
As a big Shlohmo fan, I was patiently anticipating him playing my favorite song: “Brain” by Banks, produced by Shlohmo. Approaching the end of the set, however, he still had not played it. Because it is one of his most favored songs, I assumed he would save it for last.
The night came to an end, however, and Shlohmo had played all of his well-known songs instead the one I, as well as plenty of other people I’m sure, were waiting on. He exited the stage, and the crowd quickly demanded an encore. At first the lights remained off, which made the audience hopeful for a reappearance. Soon after, though, the lights turned on and we were directed to exit the building.
Although a little disappointed by the outcome, the gratifying noises and calming sounds that Shlohmo filled The Hub with last Wednesday night made for a fantastic show that was both intimate and powerful.
A version of this story appeared on page 12 of Thursday, May 29, 2014′s print edition of the Daily Nexus.