The Gaslamp Killer The Gaslamp KillerDeath Gate
BRAINFEEDER (BF013-GLK002, 10” + digital)
Flying Lotus explains on the Brainfeeder website: “…[it’s] an inspiring progression from his last, as well as a breath of raw air in a world of clean, safe hip hop.” If he says so, we’d best believe him, although the truth is that the way things are now we don’t need Steve Ellison to tell us (again) how extraordinarily valuable the work of his colleague William Bensussen is for contemporary music. The Gaslamp Killer is as necessary as sleeping after a long day’s work: he’s one of those artists who, through his different aesthetic, helps to see the world with different eyes, in another perspective, without the tiredness of listening to similar music for hours on end. Everything we had already heard on his mixtapes and his productions for Gonjasufi comes back on this “Death Gate”, which almost sounds as tremendous as it’s title and sleeve announce. Contrary to what FlyLo says, I would dare to call what GLK does “hip-hop”: of course, there are breaks and samples, but his project goes further. At a time when DJ Shadow seems to belong more to the past than to the present, it’s the man from L.A. who takes over as the craftsman of nightmares and sample-based dreams. Here are only sixteen minutes during which he works with the precision of a gemologist, but there’s enough for your brain to explode: post-electro with computerised Arabic rhythms on “Fun Over 100”, sewer blues on “When I’m In Awe” , with Gonjasufi sounding more than ever like Tom Waits (and like William S. Burroughs), breakbeats from the hereafter on “Carpool Dummy”, “Shattering Inner Journeys” and “Monsterfromtheunderground”. Definitively, this man is in good shape and approaching maturity as a beatmaker and draftsman of nightmares, with the paintbrush of his MPC. All kneel before him.
Claude T. Hill