Review: The Brooding Textural Ecstacy Of Shlohmo’s ‘Heaven Inc.’

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Shlohmo | Heaven Inc. EP | FoF Music & Wedidit Records

Release Date: 4 September, 2020

When American musician and producer Henry Laufner – otherwise known under his musical pseudonym Shlohmo – found his footing in the electronic music realm, the artist became almost synonymous with the chillwave and lo-fi movement when it first emerged into the ‘mainstream’. Bedroom-producer lo-fi chillout tracks became all the rage in the early 2010’s, quickly taking off and breaking apart in various subgenres within the overall umbrella term as it has grown and evolved throughout the years.

Shlohmo is easily considered one of the pioneers of bringing this style of bedroom-producer lo-fi genre blends to the forefront of electronic music at the time, yet the artist has never been afraid to break away from labels or genre-boundaries. Unafraid of experimentation, specifically seen within his plethora of remixes and incredible amount of production work for iconic artists such as Drake, Post-Malone and Joji: the artist’s body of work is extensive in each area of the music world he embraces – let alone starting his own imprint titled Wedidit Records.

Returning with his newest EP release ‘Heaven Inc.’ Shlohmo explains:

(The) Latest entry on the human condition, angst and dread, and trying to find truth in this weird world. Fear of the future, hopeful delusion, distrust in power, futility, moments of escape, moments of warmth, floating above and passing through.

A description which simply couldn’t be more fitting in our current tumultuous times.

The opener and title track ‘Heaven Inc.‘ kicks off with bleeping signals, cut-up sampling and ominous synthesizers before the jigsaw fits together in harmonious bliss; driving, robust basslines, screeched dial-tone melodies and percussion akin to indie rock and post-punk. ‘Looking at Plants‘ is a laid-back, hypnagogic jazz-esque, rhythmic piece conjuring up green jungle-like imagery, while ‘Misanthrope‘ is a brooding, dark-pop Shlohmo classic weaving in between different styles like wave and instrumental hip-hop.

The closing track ‘Nice & Shiny‘ is an atmospheric whirlwind, and possibly an apt peak into the current mindset the artist was and has been experiencing. Whispered samples and cascading howls increase as if there’s a storm brewing – but when will it hit?

Stream & Purchase Heaven Inc. by Shlohmo
For more information follow Shlohmo on Facebook
Rating: 8 / 10

Feature Image: Shlohmo via Bandcamp / Facebook

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