Shlomo, who some may know from his beatboxing vocal orchestra, has for the first time embarked on a nationwide solo beatboxing tour: Mouthtronica.
Billed as a ‘one man musical,’ what is Shlomo without an orchestra to back him up, and what is a 90 minute show with all but a microphone and a loopstation over an 18 date tour?
Mouthtronica is part autobiographical, part unintentional stand up comedy – a lot of laughs come from Shlomo forgetting what subject he was talking about – and a sprinkle of throaty demonstrations and audience participation.
Boxed: A Beatboxing Adventure (Shlo’s last theatrical adventure with the Vocal Orchestra at the Southbank Centre, where he’s an artist in residence) had no dialogue, so standing solo on stage it feels more personal and intimate, allowing him to feed off audience reactions which appeared to range from regular theatre goers and fascinated children.
As someone that openly admits to dressing like a homeless person, Shlomo catered for each category leaving people giggling in their seat chuckling at jokes about his Middle Eastern relatives during his childhood offering him “sessam sed” (sesame seed).
While it’s coincidental, the Mouthtronica tour started close to Shlomo returning from winning the World Loopstation championships in LA which literally has an impact on his irrepressible and sometimes childish excitement about having an audience all to himself!
One result of his victory included loopstation sponsors giving him a brand new voice synthesiser to play around with on his shows, a core part of his “ten elements of beatboxing” showcase, manipulating looped samples to layer up different sounds otherwise less possible mixes – face it, how many synth sounds can Shlo not do?
For anyone that has seen a Beardyman show, Mouthtronica fits a similar format but with a loose storytelling narrative and minus the additional synthesiser setups.
It’s great to see Shlomo holding it down as a solo performer, especially on a 30 date tour, and like Beardyman, with whom I typically as a journalist have to compare him to, is continuing to hold it down as one of the scene’s most prolific and entertaining beatboxers.
The end of each show also features a different guest musician for Shlomo to collaborate with (the first date was guitarist Z-Star), which over the course of the tour is sure to produce some interesting results that will be used to compile a charity record.
Mouthronica is touring the UK throughout February. To see Shlomo’s tour date, visit his website.