The Gaslamp Killer – Breakthrough
GLK's full-length debut is a who's who of the Brainfeeder roster, with appearances from Gonjasufi, Daedelus, Computer Jay, Samiyam and many others. It's also a deeply personal album, featuring sampled speech from GLK's parents, his friends and his peers. It's tempting to jump in with the description 'psychedelic' – and the Beatles-esque strings of the Gonjasufi-assisted Veins, the garage-psych of Dead Vets, and Gonjasufi's second contribution on Apparitions certainly do evoke the woozy joys of 60s psych rock.
Elsewhere though there's distorted breakbeat/dubstep on Critic (with Mophono); heavy wall-of-sound trip-hop and squalling guitars on Flange Face; stripped down beat-punishing hip-hop and loopy synths on the Daedelus-assisted Impulse; evil bass-heavy boom-bap on Peasants, Cripples and Retards (with Samiyam)... it's an album of extremes, and yet it is incredibly coherent. The Turkish influence on tracks like Nissim are intoxicating, while the jazz fusion drums of Keep It Simple Stupid are epic and wild. GLK weaves them together with consummate ease.
It's worth mentioning that, like many of his Brainfeeder peers, GLK plays nearly every drum hit, organ stab and bass riff on the album. Although Breakthrough is a sampledelic collage, its organic warmth and depth are produced by avoiding well-worn samples or even the overuse of rare breaks found in the back of record shops – GLK is less of a crate-digger, more of a musician. What shines through most vividly is his mercurial acid-head philosophy, his belief in the tribal, transcendental power of beats and bass. Breakthrough is a breathtaking, diverse and challenging piece of work from a truly unique producer.