The Gaslamp Killer – ‘Breakthrough’

The Gaslamp Killer - 'Breakthrough'


Noodling beats that don't quite cut it in 2012

As resident DJ at Low End Theory – a club night that’s helped to launch everyone who’s anyone onto LA’s neo-psychedelic beat scene – The Gaslamp Killer is superbly connected. So it’s no surprise that his debut album comes courtesy of Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label and is packed with guest slots from the city’s weirdbeat great and good, from Gonjasufi to Samiyam. It’s a shame, then, that this album will inevitably be judged by two standards – Gaslamp’s genre-busting ADDJ sets and the general innovative excellence of the Brainfeeder stable – and is found lacking in both. Sure, the ideas overflow, with 17 tracks passing in 48 often thrilling minutes. But songs like ‘Critic’ and ‘Meat Guilt’ sound like sketches waiting to be developed into something more substantial, with little more than a beat and a sample to their name. The resulting noodly beats might have pricked ears in 2007. But in 2012, with Flying Lotus set to redefine the LA scene with his keenly awaited fourth album ‘Until The Quiet Comes’, it’s not quite enough.

Ben Cardew