Body High label co-founder, event organiser, DJ and avid traveller, Samo Sound Boy pushes the boundaries of sound with his genre-defying, body jarring remixing activities. He drops a download of ‘5 dollar paradise‘ for i-D online.
Influenced predominantly by his surroundings, SSB delivers raw and immediate soundscapes, uninfluenced by trends and fully focussed on the feel good vibes. Created for dancefloor action, his progressive rhythms feel hypnotically accessible. i-D online caught-up with with the globe-trotting bass-hunter to chat about his love for LA:
“There’s no bigger influence on my production than the city of Los Angeles. It’s this endlessly sprawling, bright, and twisted place. Hundreds of neighborhoods inside neighborhoods, all smashed up into a giant ditch between the mountains and the Pacific. A real American apocalyptic paradise.
I used to have to drive all over the city every day because I had this job working for the school district as a tutor. Every afternoon a computer at the superintendent’s office would text me a different kid’s address and then I’d have to go to their neighbourhood wearing this bright green t-shirt that said “TEACHER.” I’d help them write a book report or whatever and then repeat, going anywhere from East Compton to North Hollywood.
I don’t have to do that anymore so I guess I stick to my neighbourhood a lot more. Right now, I live in an apartment building in Koreatown which is more or less in the middle of everything.
For most of the summer we were doing these Body High parties in Koreatown at a place called Blipsy Barcade which is sort of like a down and out version of the place Jeff Bridges works at in Tron. We would bring in a sound system and invite all our friends once a month. It would be like 100 degrees inside and the whole bar would lose power three to four times a night but it was definitely a big vibe.
East of Koreatown is MacArthur Park where I rent a space in an old building for a studio and Body High headquarters. Most of the building is just full of boxes and junk, kind of a storage facility really. The only real tenants are us, and an old Salvadorian minister who runs a tiny church out of his section on the weekends.
I made my new EP over the course of the summer so I was over at the studio all the time. On breaks I’d spend time wandering around the neighbourhood and checking out the swap meet by the old Westlake Theater. There’s a jewellery spot in there that sells a lot of pawned gold, mostly rings and medallions. Stuff that people had made custom and then decided to sell back for whatever reason. Gold scorpions, custom Jesus pieces, 24k Nike symbols. I love that shit. My new EP owes a lot to the swap meets.
Koreatown and MacArthur Park are far from the ocean, but I definitely try to get out there when I have time. I remember three years ago being in the water off Santa Monica during Memorial Day weekend. This was when there were these huge wildfires burning in the mountains North of the city because it had been so hot for so long. I was just swimming in the Pacific with thousands of other people and if you looked back you could see this huge mushroom cloud of smoke looming over everything. For a second it honestly felt like the world was ending. But it wasn’t, and now it’s three years later and we have Body High and this cool place for a studio and everything else.”
Download ’5 dollar paradise’ here.