The Gaslamp Killer: Breakthrough
- It's kind of amazing, after all this time, that this is only The Gaslamp Killer's full-length debut. He's been there right since the beginning at Brainfeeder, hanging with Samiyam and Flylo. Even in comparison to that pair and especially to everyone who's joined the roster since, GLK's beats sound oldschool: industrial strength, instrumental hip hop that wouldn't have been out of place back in 1996. I haven't heard of them hooking up but he and Meat Beat Manifesto's Jack Dangers, they sound like they'd get on well. Old school as he might be, he's bringing those beats to the future and, if I had to guess, tipping himself fairly highly. How big a pair do you have to have to name your LP Breakthrough? On the other hand, maybe it's just a big dose of sniggering irony, The Gaslamp Killer got his name from San Diego's Gaslamp district and his ability to empty dancefloors quicker than a visit by the dog-squad. Club sensation or otherwise what are the merits of GLK in longform? Well, it's not really a plus or minus, but Gaslamp has taken the posse approach. There are a huge number of guests here, everyone from Gonjasufi to Samiyam, Dimlite, Daedelus and a bunch more. Gonjasufi is first cab off the rank, a deranged greeter for the evening, crooning away like a melodious homeless person, as usual. Maybe it's just because it’s harder to tell when producers of instrumental music team up, but a lot of the tracks sound quite a lot like The Gaslamp Killer and him alone, no matter who's playing on them. Slow moving, crashing beats smack everything down with precise regularity, on into infinity. I'm having less and less of a problem with that, though. Once you start hearing the musical intricacies accompanying the rigid framework of those beats, there's a lot to like. A virtuosic solo by alterno-violist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson climbing sinuously through Flange Face a bizarre interlude exploring the grammatic potential of the much-loved word, fuck and even Gaslamp's mum having a bit of a go at jazzy spoken word. There's little nuggets hidden all through the record, but still my favourites are the ones which bring the most power, like the Dimlite team-up Seven Years Of Bad Luck For Fun featuring something that sounds like a synthetic amalgam of a snake hissing and a lion's roar. Yes please! Breakthrough, well I don't know, but The Gaslamp Killer knows what I like that's for damn sure.
- Chris Cobcroft.