I only started listening to LA producer/artist Shlohmo, aka Henry Laufer, a few weeks ago. But, when I heard that he was coming to town, the urge to check out his live show became imperative. Arriving early to the venue, around ten o’clock, I was able to witness the gradual build-up of excited fans pack the smoky club. It was obvious that attendees were ecstatic to see one of the great young producers and experience an atmosphere typically reserved for the famous Boiler Room.
To open the night, 8PRN welcomed the crowd as they slowly trickled in from the rain-soaked Vancouver sidewalks. When he started, there was no more than a dozen people clumped in front of the booth. That number grew as time wore on, and his set progressed from slow beats to faster-paced grooves. Yet, it wasn’t until D33J, aka Djvan Santos, hit the booth that the crowd tightened up and started dancing with enthusiasm.
D33J produces an airy, natural sound. His frequent use of reverb transformed Fortune Sound Club, for the length of his hour-long set, into an echo-filled sweat cavern. The heat was cranked, and the vibes were slow and heavy, which kept everybody pulsing to the music. Track after track lined-up for our dancing and listening pleasure is all that should be demanded from a live DJ. D33J exceeded demands and warmed us up properly for the main act.
At about half-past midnight, Shlohmo appeared through a cloud of mist/smoke/fog , and instantly began to play his signature slow-moving sound throughout the club. Also, being a visual artist, Laufer provided a mesmerizing video display behind the booth. The display was earthy and abstract, but captivating nonetheless. The type of visual/auditory art combination that encourages self-examination… or leg movement that resembles a swaying motion. Either way, the set was stimulating, and could be admired from up close or far back (for a better view of the visuals behind the booth), depending on preference.
These type of late-night shows are perfect for weekday partiers. The music is great, and the drink specials are cheaper than on the weekends. And, having three world-class performers on stage is a definite bonus. Based off of my scan of the audience, the demographic attending these shows reflects the age of the person on stage. With a large number of these new producer/artists rising through the ranks at such a young age, this unnamable genre is resonating with younger and younger audiences at an exponential pace.
On Thursday night, Shlohmo stripped his music bare and layered it from scratch. He supplied us with creative minimalism at its finest, and provided an array of beats ranging from slow-mo lo-fi stoner beats, to bass-filled bangers. The crowd responded well to the set, and humbled the LA producer. From the crowd’s response, and Shlohmo’s humble demeanour, it’s obvious that this won’t be the last time Henry Laufer comes to Vancouver.