Outside of his home base of Los Angeles, the Gaslamp Killer has a rep for bringing brutal bass and heavy samples to whatever dingy dance hall or sweaty fest tent he visits. But the locals know him as a man of exquisite taste, with a record collection that follows the contrails of psychedelia through eras and across continents with uncommon ease.
Though he’s dropped a handful of EPs and singles along the way, the aptly titled Breakthrough is Gaslamp’s debut long-player, and it comes courtesy of Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label. New single “Nissim” is about as far away from the club as you can get: a richly arranged Turkish soul groove with a break-beat bounce to it and a special catch: every instrument on it was played live.
Here’s Gaslamp with a few words: “I was listening to this old Turkish song over and over, and I said to myself, ‘Lord, this is too good. I don’t wanna just loop it like I used to. I should get with some musicians and recreate this. ‘ So I got [producer] Daedelus on bass, and Amir Yaghmai from Jogger on guitar and yiali tambur, and we just jammed. It sounded so good that Amir offered to bring in some Middle Eastern professionals he knew, and then they redid it while I sat in and directed the band.”
And on the other said of this mirror within a mirror within a mirror is the gorgeous “Nissim,” a song named after Gaslamp’s late grandfather, who grew up in Istanbul. The result sounds both historically authentic, and authentically original. And yeah, it’s trippy, mane.