Beatboxer and Electro music producer SK Shlomo has finally dropped his long-awaited debut album and I the pleasure of hearing it to prior to its release. From the moment the vintage, Mario Kart-esque game sounds of ‘Silver’ kicks in, you are sent on an emotional journey right up to the unexpected, Folk-influenced conclusion, named after the album’s title ‘Surrender’.
It is overall a musically diverse portfolio of work. Following from Silver’s minor chord structure performed on a reverb-effected piano, reminiscent of the early works of Industrial singer and songwriter Martin Grech, you are hit with the bongo drum rhythms of ‘Invisible,’ which eventually builds up to a similar Pop production to Ilya’s on Taylor Swift’s 2015 hit single ‘Bad Blood.’
Track 3 ‘The Future’ is one word…EPIC! Shlomo has a talent for choosing throwback 80’s and 90’s synths and fusing them with current Tropical House-esque music production, evidenced on this track which almost sends us back to Depeche Mode’s classic 1990 single ‘Enjoy The Silence,’ while Track 4 ‘Look Away’ delivers a sinister sound, which sits very closely next to Nine Inch Nails’ famous outro to their 1994 single ‘Closer.’ And, quite possibly, without any intention at all, ‘Stardust’ pays tribute to Keith Flint, as we are thrown back to the Experience era of The Prodigy’s iconic career, via multiple kicks on the drum and keyboard sounds which send you right out into space, fused with its’ Major Lazer-esque hook…think of their UK number 2 track ‘Lean On’…and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
SK Shlomo continues to deliver more nostalgic music via ‘Berliner,’ with its’ 90’s House organ which reminds us of Felix’s 1992 Dance banger ‘Don’t You Want Me’ and catchy piano riff, not too dissimilar to Liquid’s one-hit wonder ‘Sweet Harmony.’ It’s the best trip down memory lane to the Eurodance craze you could think of. Unpredictably, Shlomo takes a detour towards the direction of Hip-Hop music production, in the vein of duo TNGHT with the track ‘Heartbeat,’ nicely flowing into ‘The First Time’ which delves more into the Drum & Bass, Big Beat-influenced world of Electronics, a piece of music where its’ piano hook could easily be comparable to the famous 1973 ‘Tubular Bells’ by Mike Oldfield AKA the chilling theme from the classic horror movie The Exorcist.
Before Shlomo’s debut album comes to end with its title track, a beautiful moment reminiscent of the spiritual works of musician Plumb, notably her 2006 track ‘Cut,’ Shlomo reminds us that he most certainly did work with iconic artists, famously known for their freedom of experimentation, such as Bjork, on the psychedelic ‘Superhuman.’ In my view…SK Shlomo’s ‘Surrender’ deserves all the critical acclaim it deserves, for its brilliant, bold and eclectic choice of sounds, all cleverly fused together to deliver a masterfully produced piece of art.
‘Surrender’ is out now.