Shlohmo engages post-Burning Man crowd 

click to enlarge Clubs galore For live performances, Shlohmo speeds up languorous beats from his CD “Bad Vibes.” - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Clubs galore For live performances, Shlohmo speeds up languorous beats from his CD “Bad Vibes.”

Sometimes, slow is quick. Rising Los Angeles DJ and producer Shlohmo headlines a post-Burning Man show called “The Afterburn” at 10 p.m. Friday at 1015 Folsom in The City’s South of Market district.

In this string of one-off dates, the in-demand 22-year-old ambient bass producer Henry Laufer will perform an up-tempo club set with laptop and controller Friday, speeding up the languorous beats of his impressive 2011 debut LP, “Bad Vibes.”

Unassuming but complex, “Bad Vibes” crept up on critical acclaim with a mix of down-tempo beats and organic, intricate, soulful, sometimes psychedelic instrumentals. Part hip-hop and electronic dance music, it defied categorization.

“I still don’t really know what it was and what it is,” he says, via phone from Los Angeles.

Attempts to recreate “Bad Vibes” live required too much gear, and Laufer struggled to adapt the vibe of the headphone record to the club.

“It’s a hard thing to book. And a hard thing to travel with,” he says. “I was in a weird space in between downtempo stuff and club-oriented stuff. But I’ve definitely been more comfortable in the past year playing for the club. I’m definitely more comfortable with making people dance.”

Promoter and fellow DJ Dials booked Shlohmo to headline “The Afterburn,” though Laufer went to Kauai’s North Shore for Labor Day, not Black Rock, Nev. “I’m very much not a Burner,” he admits.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Laufer lived in the Bay Area from 2008-10, then New York.

“I just come back a lot to S.F. and visit,” he says. “My girlfriend’s out there and friends. It’s always fun.”

With European tour dates behind him for 2012, Laufer moved back to L.A., and hopes to rent a house and record his sophomore album. Some may say the album as a format is dead, but Shlohmo calls that a “dumb outlook.”

He adds, “I really just want to build a studio and be able to be at home and work. I haven’t been able to focus on making a group of music, a whole body of stuff.”

Though he’s barely old enough to drink, the young beatmaker isn’t fazed about having a must-watch career and growing following. He says, “It’s kind of scary, but it’s cool. It’s nice to have an audience and be able to put something out and know that people are going to hear it.”

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David Downs

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