The last we heard of L.A. producer Henry Laufer aka Shlohmo was the surprisingly uninspired No More EP, a collaboration with R&B singer Jeremih. Thankfully, and as the title suggests, Shlohmo emerges with newfound strength on his latest single “Emerge From Smoke”. The track shows Shlohmo in his darkest mood yet; firing laser-beams of squealing dystopian synth lines over hollow percussions and slowly unraveling, bottomless basslines. As shown many times before, he is a master of creating tension by slowly adding layers of elements, then subtracting them before everything comes crashing down like an alien ship wreckage. “Emerge From Smoke” makes me hope that Shlohmo got most of his R&B dreams out of his system, as he is at best when moving in intersecting, indistinguishable genres, and having more in common with Clark then The Weeknd.
Tom Krell, aka How To Dress Well, sounds best when he’s voice resonances remorsefulness and yearning. On “Cold Nites” and “Set It Right” from last year’s excellent Total Loss, he utilized his voice in an aching matter, squeezing out every word as if it where his last. So’ it’s exciting to hear that it’s exactly what we’re getting on “Don’t Say No” – a collaboration with the Hip Hop/electronic producer Shlomo.
While Shlomo’s production on “Don’t Say No” is excellent, starting sparsely in terms of instrumentation, building slowly up towards an epic peak; it’s those bursting vocals of Tom Krell that excels this track past anything of the LA producer’s previous accomplishments. Krell’s trembling falsetto marries perfectly with Shlomo’s tactile instrumentals, embracing his vocals with much sharper sounds and clearer production compared to when Krell operates on his own. Towards the end, there’s an introduction of a beautiful echoing guitar that together with Krell’s resonating voice ends the song in a total euphoric bliss.
“Don’t Say No” is set to be the opening track on Shlohmo’s upcoming EP, Laid Out – Expected to be released on the 4th of March via Wedidit and Friends of Friends.