The Gaslamp Killer - Death Gate EP

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  • The Gaslamp Killer, AKA William Bensussen, is a peculiar entity. On the one hand, he's an artist who refuses to be bound by convention or accepted practice. On the other, he's an obsessive perfectionist. While the L.A. beat scene within which he operates has been around for several years now, its musical parameters have not been completely set. There's no time signature to work within, no rules regarding melody and harmony, and definitely no constraints when it comes to rhythm. "Fun Over 100" kicks the EP off and is testament to that. It's downtempo and, unlike the rest of the package, doesn't purport to have been built around dusty analogue sampling. "When I'm In Awe" follows, calling up San Diego-based vocalist Gonjasufi to sing out-of-tune lyrics over a kick-less excursion into psychedelic rock, with Bensussen blending digital bass with vintage strings, which results in an eerie three-minute loop. It's with the arrival of "Carpool Dummy" that Bensussen's skills behind the boards really shine. The drums are programmed to perfection, but daring at the same time. Unlike other members of the Brainfeeder clique—Lorn, Daedelus and even Flying Lotus, for example—Bensussen frequently departs from the conventions of melody. Sometimes, it seems, he just wants you to bang your head. The rhythms crafted from sampled breaks on "Carpool Dummy" are excellent. They're looped, looped and looped again, and while some would call that lazy, in the hands of Bensussen they're superb, as every few bars brings a slight shift in the snare arrangement. "Shatering Inner Journeys" and "Monsterfromtheundergound" close out the release. On the former, fellow L.A. resident Computer Jay provides guest synths over a shifting snare and hi-hat loop. The latter is the EP's shortest and most relentless, making use of a distorted midrange and up-tempo pace, closing out a solid and adventurous release.
  • Tracklist
      01. Fun Over 100 02. When I'm In Awe feat. Gonjasufi 03. Carpool Dummy feat. Mophono 04. Shattering Inner Journeys feat. Computer Jay 05. Monsterfromtheunderground