Photo by Elissa Stolman

Don’t be fooled by the trippy low-key nature of the California-based DJ Shlohmo‘s recorded work; live, his music takes a decidedly energetic turn. While his EPs lend themselves to trance-out think sessions and hardcore chilling, his set at Tammany Hall in New York aimed to please a Friday night crowd that ached to dance and crawl up onstage like Snooki. Shlohmo stacked his usually lyricless, bass-oriented tracks with samples from the likes of Lil Wayne and Waka Flocka Flame, ultimately ending his set by mouthing along to line “fuckyoubitch.com/yourname” and almost immediately disappearing from the venue with a pack of bro-stepping friends.


Before and during Shlohmo’s set, his friends attracted attention with their enthusiastic bass music dancing, which inovled a lot of arm-waving and flapping the way boys tend to do when mobbing to DJ music, especially if one of their cohorts happens to be providing the soundtrack. Shlohmo himself seemed to be channeling the same we-own-the-party attitude, particularly during the samples he mixed into his set. While spinning a Waka Flocka track over a heavy bass, Shlohmo broke from his equipment to chant “Waka Flocka” with audience members, bob-dance and sip the drink someone had slipped to him.


The middle of Shlohmo’s hour onstage featured the most Shlohmo-ish music, but for the most part the DJ kept up a steady stream of party songs. Although his departure from ambient psychedelic chillwave seemed uncharacteristic, maybe it only makes sense that a Friday night club set would sound suspiciously like bassed-up Mad Decent. Shlohmo would know by now, because his set at Tammany Hall came at the end of a busy week in New York: several sessions at East Village Radio and a night spinning at the intensely trendy Jane Ballroom spinoff Westway may very well have groomed him to pump swag and samples into his set in order to attract and sustain a crowd.


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