It's tough living in DC while the government's shut down. The monuments are blockaded off, the Smithsonian's boarded up, I've even heard they're going to stop collecting trash any day now (which means the rest of New Hampshire Ave is about to get a real strong whiff of my congealed remnants of last Tuesday's taco night). Fortunately for all fellow DC residents afflicted with a similarly paralyzing boredom, U Street Music Hall, the District's hub of electronic music, is keeping its doors open despite the furlough. Even more fortunate was LA-collective Body High's recent five-hour takeover of the space, which included a high-energy sets by the label's co-founders Jerome LOL and the architect of OC Mixtape 41, Sam Griesemer, aka Samo Sound Boy.
Despite first discovering a connection to DJ culture while in Buenos Aires, Griesemer maintains that his progressive productions are grounded in the diverse but dark undertones of Los Angeles. His most recent EP "Your Love" is certainly an example of this intersectionality, blending house and syrupy synths for a raw take on club music. Bookending his OC-exclusive mixtape with Oneohtrix Point Never's ambient static loops and Shlohmo's take on his own "Your Love," Samo Sound Boy's compilation truly runs the gamut of forward-thinking electronic efforts. I caught up with him about the future of Body High, Outkast, and my favorite topic, The Simpsons.
1. Oneohtrix Point Never - Chrome Country
2. Samo Sound Boy - The Ride
3. James Holden - Renata
4. Reese and Santonio - The Sound
5. Recondite - Felicity
6. Ob Ignitt - Oh Jabba (Original Mix)
7. John Roberts - Blanket
8. Tin Man - Finger Paint
9. Tevo Howard - Spend Some Time (Underground Mix)
10. Leon Vynehall - I Get Mine, You Get Yours (Original Mix)
11. Grown Folk - Acquaintance
12. Colonel Abrams, Omar S - Who Wrote The Rules Of Love (Shadow Ray Remix)
13. Jim-E Stack - Is It Me (Walking Mix)
14. Ikonika - Let a Smile Be (Y)our Umbrella
15. Samo Sound Boy - Your Love (Shlohmo Remix)
How does living and working in Los Angeles shape the type of music you make or the way you approach production in general?
Really everything I produce, I try to make sound like Los Angeles. The layers to the city, the dust, the darkness, all the emotion––I try to put all that in what I make. There's really nothing sterile about LA and I try to remember that when I make music. Even a place like Hollywood Boulevard for example––thousands of tourists go there every day for a happy vacation with their kids, and it's supposed to glamorous or whatever, but under such a shallow surface, it's one of the bleakest places in the city. In my production, I want even the brightest sounds to have some darkness underneath. Everything should have soul.
I read in an interview that you had a subscription to The Source when you were in 6th grade. What’s your all time favorite hip-hop album?
Outkast's Aquemini. That album changed my life.
Talk to me a little bit more about Body High. What motivated the decision to start the collective? What projects are you most proud of?
Two years ago, I just didn't see a place where my music or a lot of my friends' music was making sense. Art needs the right context and I didn't think we had it. I also knew that unless we were ultimately doing things ourselves, we'd always be bending to fit someones else's vision and aesthetic. Body High is so homemade, it's crazy. We do everything ourselves, which isn't always efficient or effective, but it is authentic, and that's what I'm interested in the most. i'm proud of all of our releases, but honestly it's all about what's coming up. The stuff we have in the works for 2014 is insane.
How did you and Jerome LOL meet? What has the collaborative process been like between the two of you?
I met Jerome about four years ago in LA. He came to a really short-lived party I threw in Chinatown with my friend Chase. Dubbel Dutch was actually our special guest that night, too. Maybe ten other people were there... Collaboratively, Jerome and I work really well. We're in the midst of working on our next DJ Dodger Stadium project and it's been great.
Your new EP Your Love just dropped. What should we expect to hear? You’ve remixed AlunaGeorge’s "Your Drums, Your Love," and re-worked a lot of stuff for both your Boiler Room LA sets: were those the types of things you were listening to when making the EP?
For this EP, I wanted to make something with more melody and textures. For awhile I'd been really into minimal sounds pretty exclusively... With this EP, I wanted things to be a bit deeper and melodic.
I’d ask what your prized possession is, but Instagram already tipped me off: a MINT CONDITION Simpsons Sing The Bluescassette tape. So instead, I’ll ask what I really want to know: what’s your favorite Simpsons season and why?
Any of the first three to four seasons... The show was a lot darker back then. The family was always dealing with being broke and Marge and Homer's marriage was constantly on the rocks. Homer almost committed suicide at one point. I mean, in the very first full-length episode, he gets the family's dog because he's betting his paycheck at a dog track on Christmas Eve... That's so raw. That's like a Breaking Bad-style situation almost. Jesse Pinkman would get a dog that way. Anyway, I think all that grittiness in cartoon form was really new to TV at the time. Not that I could understand any of that when I first saw the show, but that's the genius of The Simpsons. It operates on so many levels.
If you had to distill your entire being into one bizarrely specific Netflix recommended genre, what would it be? I consider myself something along the lines of "Quasi-Cerebral Animated Television Series Featuring Elements of Magical Realism" or "Because You Watched WWE: The Ladder Match 2."
"Because you watched Mulholland Drive and the TV series Martin." If you are an artist whose music is on this mixtape and wish not to be included, please E-MAIL US and we'll remove it immediately.