|Samo Sound Boy|
Samo Sound Boy — Begging PleaseBirth name: Sam Griesemer
Born: Manhattan, New York and grew up in New Hampshire.
Genres: House music, Electronic, Techno
Location: New York, New York, U.S.
Album release: April 28, 2015
Record Label: Body High
01 Introduction 2:08
02 Baby Don't Stop 5:24
03 Feel Something 4:18
04 The Only Thing 4:35
05 Save Wait Time 5:25
06 Got It Bad 1:07
07 What Can I Do 4:39
08 Begging Please 7:35
09 Lost It 3:45
10 You Come for Me 5:41
℗ 2015 Body High
By Jonah Bromwich; April 27, 2015; Score: 7.5
♠ Electronic music has thrived over the last decade in Los Angeles, with labels like Innovative Leisure, Friends of Friends and Body High mining the best of the city’s offerings. The least well–known of the three, Body High, was started in 2011 by Jerome Potter and Sam Griesemer. Performing together as DJ Dodger Stadium, and separately as Jerome LOL and Samo Sound Boy, the two producers have carved out a recognizable style in a handful of releases, using a small bag of tricks to unleash cascades of emotion and energy. Begging Please, Samo’s full–length debut, stays true to that style, while treading the most intimate territory the label has explored yet.
♠ Body High was founded with a focus on raw club music. As it has slowly built a catalogue, that focus has come to signify a feeling rather than a specific set of genres. ♠ DJ Dodger Stadium’s 2014 debut album Friend of Mine was for the most part functional, danceable music, indebted to house and techno. But its purpose drove deeper: It strove to summon the exhausted freedom that three hours of dancing can bring with the immediacy of a lightning–clap.
♠ Though many of the electro–soul tracks on Begging Please don’t have the momentum it takes to work in the club, they seek a similarly cathartic response from the listener. Guarded in his interviews, Samo has said several times that Begging Please is an album about the dissolution of a loving relationship (comparing it to Marvin Gaye’s Here, My Dear), but has given few other details. His more substantial thoughts and feelings about the break–up are channeled in the tracks here.
♠ Friend of Mine also built a functional narrative, even as each of its songs shuddered into uninhibited ecstasy. But Begging Please feels like a portrait as opposed to Friend of Mine’s landscape. Samo opts for more obvious variation within individual tracks, which reduces his album’s impact but also intensifies the feeling that you’re listening to something personal and specific. The power of a track like "Feel Something" doesn’t rest in the repetition of its operative vocal loop ("Make me feel…oh"). It appears when that loop is pushed aside for a brassy synth ascension that takes over the song about mid–way through.
♠ Gaudy, enormous synths, about as subtle as Web 1.0 graphics, are a staple of Begging Please, appearing on other standouts like "The Only Thing", and the seven–and–a–half–minute centerpiece and title track. They feed the album’s general sense of camp; this is big, glorious Shirley Bassey melodrama, as is most apparent on the soulful closer, where a powerful voice rides atop the record’s wildest, most expressive percussion.
♠ If Begging Please is a performance of heartbreak, it is a wry and self–aware one. ♠ Samo's light–fingered melodies go a long way toward balancing the boldness of his sound. That balance grants a sensitivity to most of the songs here. And it is quite obvious when absent, as on the album’s few misses, "Baby Don’t Stop" and "What Can I Do".
♠ Because the music is so finely tuned and relies so fleetingly on sampled lyrics, even the simplest words take on powerful meaning, Samo speaking to us as directly as is possible for him. One of the album’s tracks, "Save Wait Time", is made by its refrain, which adds an extra word to that gloomy triplet, either "go" or "no." By removing this terminal word from the track’s title, introverted Samo signals his wish to preserve the moment, to freeze time in a portrait of what he once had. But, inevitably, the sample cuts out, the music fades, and the album begins its descent into heartbreak.
Words / Andrew Ryce / Rating: 3.4/5
♠ Dance music has a tendency to value function over emotion, but you couldn't say that about Sam Griesemer, AKA Samo Sound Boy, who makes tearjerkers out of mushy R&B vocals and soaring synthesizers. On Friend Of Mine, the album he made with Jerome LOL as DJ Dodger Stadium, the duo turned to gospel vocals, hoping to get across the nostalgia, reverence and anxiety they felt toward LA, their hometown. ♠ Begging Please, Griesemer's first solo LP, uses the same recipe to more personal ends. It's a breakup album, meant to chronicle the slow dissolve of a relationship, underscored by a series of uncomfortable videos. Compared to the vibrant palette of Friend Of Mine, this one is sad, sad and sadder. It's a less approachable album, but, when Griesemer's formula really comes together, a more affecting one.
♠ Griesemer has a playful touch on the drums and a Hollywood ear for melody, and those talents help make the better parts of Begging Please his best work yet. Case in point: the heart–wrenching title track, which distills the album's central concept into seven–and–a–half minutes of hysteria. You can hear the pleading turn to resignation when the overdriven arpeggios melt into an almost funereal ambient outro. Glossy, upbeat and deflating all at once, "Begging Please" navigates intense emotional states, and its drifting final minutes are the most arresting on the whole LP. "Save Wait Time" conveys loneliness with a wiggling acid line, much as Recondite did with 2012's masterful On Acid. Like the rest of Begging Please, it's deeply sad music disguised as dance floor fare.
♠ But as expressive as "Save Wait Time" might be, Griesemer's choice of vocal sample dulls the impact of his songwriting and production. The same thing happens again on the overblown "What Can I Do" — when you're using a whole chorus of voices to get your own feelings across, it suddenly feels a lot less personal. Another one of the album's highlights, "Lost It," succeeds because its delicate production is laid out clearly without a disembodied voice vying for the spotlight. The bittersweet closer "I Come For You" works where it sounds cheerier — the vocals are ecstatic and convincing when they aren't forced to carry the sadness of something Griesemer is trying to project onto them.
♠ Griesemer and Jerome LOL are working to get actual vocalists for their second DJ Dodger Stadium LP, which seems like a sign that they might be getting tired of this particular sampling schtick. In light of that, Begging Please — built with the same blueprint as the last DJ Dodger Stadium album — seems more like a stopgap on the way to the duo's next album than a major accomplishment in itself. It's a fine companion to Friend Of Mine, and proves dance music can be as poignant as anything else. ♠ http://www.residentadvisor.net/Also:
Michael Snydel April 21, 2015; SCORE: 4
Sam Murphy on April 27, 2015; SCORE: 8.5/10
INTERVIEWS By Ezra Marcus
♠ Taking It All (2010/Palms Out Sound)
♠ Shuffle Code (2011/Trouble & Bass)
♠ Stadium Status (2011/Body High) — as DJ Dodger Stadium
♠ 5 Dollar Paradise (2012/Body High)
♠ Your Love (2013/Body High)
♠ "Open / Divine" (2014/Body High)
♠ Friend of Mine (2014/Body High) — as DJ Dodger Stadium
♠ Begging Please (2015/Body High)
Website: http://bodyhigh.us/_______________________♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ________________________
|Samo Sound Boy|