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the gaslamp killer - Breakthrough
Free-form mixologist and Brainfeeder mainstay The Gaslamp Killer finally drops his long awaited album proper with ‘Breakthrough’, and rarely has an album been titled so perfectly. Taking care of production duties as well as playing live drums, William Bensussen in just a couple of tracks shows why people have been losing their mind for the ‘Brainfeeder sound’ in the last few years. The dusty, sewer-crawling breaks that made MoWax so essential back when DJ Shadow only had a couple of EPs under his belt, the spring-reverb drenched electronics Flying Lotus made his own, and the smoked-out haze of Miles’s jazz fusion experiments are all combined here to make a record as psychedelic as it is hip hop. The pillars of the genre are intact, but filtered through a greying lens and recorded to crumbling tape for posterity. Bensussen doesn’t add anything particularly new to the table, but what he lacks in originality he makes up for with polish and sheer drive. He’s enlisted a bunch of the scene’s brightest and smartest, too; Daedelus, Dimlite, Gonjasufi, SAMIYAM and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson all pop up, contributing their unique sounds to the overall picture yet it’s handled so masterfully it never sounds like a patchwork. In fact the album with maybe most in common with ‘Breakthrough’ is Ricci Rucker’s hugely underrated ‘Fuga’ – and there couldn’t be any stronger praise than that. Ambitious and epic, ‘Breakthrough’ is a record that aims high and hits hard.