The Gaslamp Killer recently dropped his full length project entitled “BREAKTHROUGH” on Brainfeeder. Straight away the album catapulted me back to the times I’ve witnessed The Gaslamp Killer’s dynamic and totally captivating live set at the Low End Theory club night at the Airliner in Los Angeles. The project is just as dynamic and varied as The Gaslamp Killer’s live set. But rest assured this is only a taste of what you get in person.
Breakthrough embodies the spirit of it’s creator, The Gaslamp Killer, as it takes you on a journey through an analog, electronic, experimental, dusty vinyl laced, hip-hop, psychedelic, world trip. Breakthrough is definitely a must buy if you are looking for something out of the ordinary that pushes the boundaries beatmaking and production with its technology laced psychedelic percussive mind trip punk attitude.
Although this project bends the boundaries of any genre specificity I’d venture to say that even with its refreshingly experimental vibe, if you ask me, Breakthrough is much more hip-hop in it’s attitude than what one would commonly consider hip-hop. It challenges the establishment, so to speak. That’s what it’s always been meant to do. One listen to the Breakthrough and you instantly feel the underground world current beneath your feet. I wish more artists would find their lane the way The Gaslamp Killer has done with Breakthrough. We’d be mo’ betta off for it.
For those that don’t know The Gaslamp Killer here is a video interview spotlight from the Serato Icon Artist Series.
Breakthrough is the debut full-length album from the Gaslamp Killer, a manic and mystic trip through the mind of a madman. Resident DJ and co-founder of the mythic Low End Theory club night in Los Angeles, the Gaslamp Killer is known across the globe for his impeccable turntable skills and high-energy performances. He delivers the same fire to Breakthrough, a project pulled from within his soul that is his strongest musical statement yet.
Blending California-inspired psych with widespread global influences, Breakthrough is a musical anachronism, an unconstrained compilation from a wandering spirit. Finding new clarity through human connections after years on the road, the Gaslamp Killer’s evolution as an artist continues with Breakthrough. Overcast with ominous tones, loose drums and contorted sounds, Breakthrough is much more than a collection of beats; it is a musical project that reflects the culmination of almost a decade’s worth touring and performing around the world. Laying his hands on production and live drums, the Gaslamp Killer brings together a potent cast of friends to contribute to the album. Featuring guest appearances by Gonjasufi, Adrian Younge, Dimlite, Daedelus, Samiyam, Computer Jay and more, Breakthrough is a journey of creative connection, a tribal ceremony loaded with a sense of fellowship that reflects the Gaslamp Killer’s devotion to the collective experience.
Lacing the album with ancient dust, Gonjasufi lends his gritty voice to instantly grasping “Veins” and the easy, grainy groove of “Apparitions.” Finding a frequency of high-strung horror, “Flange Face (with Miguel Atwood-Ferguson)” drops with a feeling of impending doom, a heaving monster with cinematic strings and meteors falling from the stars.
“Impulse (with Daedelus)” immediately descends into madness, spinning out of control amidst wicked sound contraptions and a blurry, bass-driven melody. Named after the Gaslamp Killer’s grandfather, “Nissim (with Amir Yaghmai)” travels through a host of emotions, evolving from the solemn strums of a yiali tambur into a sunny tune that instantly transports you to Istanbul.
“Seven Years of Bad Luck for Fun (with Dimlite)” slices the spine down the middle with chills, a cold-blooded tremor that congeals as it crawls through the shadows. Grabbing your breath through your guts and flinging off into the ether, “In the Dark”, is an encompassing track whose twisted strings and heavy horns overtake the album’s denouement with a shuddering glimpse of the end of the world.
To his ever-expanding fanbase, the Gaslamp Killer is much more than a DJ or producer; he is a master crafter of the collective experience, a shaman of spiritual escape found by following the beats. The journey continues; turning 30 this year, the Gaslamp Killer has only scratched the surface of himself as an artist and a person. Resonating on a deeper level, Breakthrough is the Gaslamp Killer’s spirit shining through the haze, breaking through the foggy veil of singularity to find the human connection.