Leiko Ikemura, Sven ‘t Jolle, Mai-Thu Perret, Sophie von Hellermann & Sybren Vanoverberghe
We’re bringing the Berlin-by-US club devastation unit known as Lotic to Amsterdam on 5 March, providing us a convenient reason to share some of our favourite tracks to get you up to speed, if for some reason you’re not already there. As is to be expected of a member from the soaring Berlin club night-cum-label Janus, it’s refreshingly difficult to ascribe specific genre descriptors to him. While the term ‘club deconstruction’ tends never to be too far off, Lotic’s music, as well as that of similarly forward-thinking labelmates and Janus residents M.E.S.H. and KaBlam, hints towards calculatedly rough-hewn disassemblies of dance tropes, operating in and often overlapping with highly innovative, technologically aestheticised circles. That said, Lotic eschews the mechanised sheen and gloss of the others in favour of the jagged and jarring, anchored solely by propulsive rhythmic sensibilities. Anyway, below you’ll find ten indisputably crucial tracks/mixes to get you acquainted with Lotic and the Janus-y vibe, as eclectic and impossible to pin down as it is.
Words by Deva Rao, photos shot by Ériver Hijano in Berlin
1. Lotic – ‘Faded (How The Hell…?) feat. The Queen, barking stans and CBS censors’
2014 saw a LOT of ‘Drink in Love’ remixes but no one took it to anywhere near the place Lotic did. His deranged subversion takes Yonce’s vocals to a point of genuinely unsettling volatility, and with that, “I’ve been drinking” takes on a significantly darker meaning. Be safe Bey!
2. Total Freedom – ‘JUSTIN W CRYPTHAND OR CHEAP TRICK CHRONICLES’
Janus regular/Fade To Mind member Total Freedom recontextualises and augments Yung Bieber and Tyga’s ‘Wait For a Minute’ through use of strategically placed steel drums – and just like that, we’re won over.
3. M.E.S.H. – ‘Captivated’
Last year saw M.E.S.H. put out one of 2014’s finest releases in the form of the Scythians EP, with ‘Captivated’ coming in as our (entirely collective) favourite track. Intricate, bass-heavy sound design, meticulously placed samples and an air of eerie, near-celestiality… And yet somehow still club-ready.
4. Lotic – ‘CRAZY 4 VAL VENIS’
Kat Dahlia’s bubblegum pop meets King L’s trap banger with Lotic facilitating, how else but through a (s)mashup. Pray he drops this in his set.
5. E+E – ‘Saiber Spree’
E+E, aka Elysia Crampton, specialises in merging seemingly unrelated musical contexts, often revealing unexpected common ground, as evidenced by his stunning The Light That You Gave Me To See You EP. ’Saiber Spree’ isn’t on that but it IS, like, really good.
6. Lotic – ‘Heterocetera’
Lotie gets hellish and claustrophobic on this one’, the title track off his upcoming EP out via Tria Angle. Like a reggaeton tune in a nightmare, the track bumps and grinds irresistibly while STILL managing to disconcert.
7. KABLAM – ‘PRIERE’
Tears were, are and will continue to be shed to this affecting, ebbing sonic collage.
8. HVAD – Janus Mix
Listen to this in a darkened room and watch the walls close in on you and despair settle in. You will never be the same again. Actually, chances are you’ll remain relatively unchanged but one intriguing half hour richer. Either way, you should hear this.
9. Dan Bodan – ‘Jaws of Life’ (Lotic Remix)
Ostensibly a remix, not much remains of Dan Bodan’s totally beautif original. We’re not complaining though, it’s in Lotic’s safe hands – and with them, he crafts the song into a haunting, mostly ambient reimagining.
10. Lotic – ‘Fractures’
The final track on his second EP Fallout, it toes the line between hopeful and unsettling. Either way, it’s highly infectious and you will listen to it now.
Lotic, Palmistry and The Stress play Melkweg Theater on 5 March. The show is free for Subbacultcha! members. For more information visit 5DaysOff.nl.