Shlomo: Mouthtronica (4 stars)

This article is from 2011.

Shlomo: Mouthtronica

Incredible noise-making skill from a loveable entertainer

Shlomo has been practising his art since he was a child. Growing up in an Iraqi-Israeli family in London, he dreamed of playing the drums on Top Of The Pops but to avoid disturbing the neighbours, practised rhythms using only his mouth. It wasn’t until he heard a tape that he realised it was what other people did to show off. Years later, that’s exactly what his first solo set is, but in the most charming way possible.

He begins by explaining the ten rules of ‘Mouthtronica’, demonstrating the various qualities of the voice, air, teeth and lips respectively, all the time with calm effortlessness. Loopstation – of which he is the world champion – is his most important live technique, which allows him to record samples on the go and create multi-layered live tracks that even use cheers from the audience.

His set is a soundtrack to the stages of his life, from his dad’s jazz band to Björk, with heart-rending anecdotes about grandparents and babies along the way. His travels and multi-cultural upbringing bring excitement to the beats, and fundamentally, all the technology is a bit much for him. As his innovative use of the Indian ‘morchang’ jaw harp exemplifies, pure sounds and rhythm are the antidote.

Underbelly, Cowgate, 08445458252, until 27 Aug, 9pm, £14 (£12).

Shlomo - Mouthtronica (trailer)

Shlomo: Mouthtronica

  • 4 stars

One man. One mouth. One mic. Newly crowned World Loop-Station champion, the acclaimed British beat-boxer Shlomo takes us on a one-man musical mash up using nothing but his mouth, a microphone and a loop sampler. A dazzling mix of storytelling and high-energy, genre-hopping, voice-box mashing human beatboxing that takes…

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