Third Brainfeeder post in a week. And this one is out for ten days already, but I just got around to giving it a listen, and am quite taken by it. William B. Bensussen aka The Gaslamp Killer has been releasing EPs and appeared on compilations for quite some time now, but “Breakthrough” is his first regular album. After being an underground hero for years, the title could be seen as the announcement that he is ready for widepread attention.
“Breakthrough” is kind of a mess, to be honest, but a glorious mess nonetheless. Reminding intensly of DJ Shadows “Endtroducing”, it features seventeen mostly shorter drum- and sample-heavy tracks in wild succession. It takes you for a ride through different styles and ideas, but somehow manages to keep it tightly knit together. The Gaslamp Killer sometimes goes retro-psych and mellow, as on Apparitions for example, but quite often hits the real or fake drums hard, like on Flange Face.
He has gotten a lot of interesting artists to collaborate on nearly every track, from Daedelus to Shigeto to Gonjasufi, with whom he has worked before on “A Sufi and a Killer”. Bensussen has the talent to take up all the influences his partners in crime bring to the set, easily mixing their styles into his tracks. The album inroduces new sounds all the time, like the 8bit tunes over a distorted bass on “Impulse” or the sitar on “Nissim”, and while you think this can’t work, it does, in a mad way. And the tracks flow nicely indeed. “Keep It Simple Stupid” for instance is a short drum excess, the name befitting the tune, and the drums genuiously picked up on the following “7 Years Of Bad Luck For Fun”.
Pitchfork called The Gaslamp Killer Brainfeeder’s “best kept secret”, and they seem to try to keep it that way, not updating their soundcloud and not streaming tracks off the album anywhere else. So you need to go look for it yourself, but to be fair, the songs make a lot more sense in the course of the album than singled out on the net. So get the whole thing and follow it to its blissful conclusion: “This is the way the world ends.”