Tag Archives: The Gaslamp Killer

Earlier today, I explored the Gaslamp Quarter in anticipation of living in downtown San Diego and toured a couple apartments and checked out the scene there. There’s a jazz club, a couple standard dance clubs, a House of Blues, a bunch of awesome restaurants and bars, etc. It was actually quite nice. I talked to a waitress at one bar and another side of the Gaslamp started to reveal itself. She said most of the people walking around there are visitors and tourists and there really is next to no “Gaslamp arts community” even among people who work and live there. There are tons of bars and music venues, but alas there’s no Dubspot, no Boiler Room, no Low End Theory, nowhere where like-minded creative people can learn from each-other, just the predictable instant gratification of the familiar. I may go out there tonight. I may hear Gangam style. I too may feel like killing the Gaslamp.

Willie Bensussen (aka the Mothafuckin Gaslamp Killer) got his name from his penchant for clearing those dancefloors with dubstep, hip-hop, and whatever the heck else he wanted to play. There’s some poetic justice to the fact that the bass music that he played, which was once shunned and marginalized by those clubs, is slowly making its way into the clubs there as popular music. Just earlier this year the Gaslamp Killer played Vouyer, as if to signal that things had come full circle. With the increasing popularity of Dubstep Trap and world music, maybe there’s hope for some like minded people to bring a more experimental scene there. Maybe one day there will even be a Boiler Room San Diego. That said, in speaking to more of the locals there today, I confirmed that the majority of Gaslamp-goers are still tourists who will be dancing to top 40 tonight while you listen to the Gaslamp Killer  BBC Essential Mix.

As expected, This mix is heavy, gritty, challenging, groovy, and eclectic. It has its share of Brainfeeder bangers, but really leans toward the more obscure, which is for the better. It shows the breadth of GLK’s musical inspiration and reminds us of a couple of things. First, 70s psychedelic rock gives us a unique look at the roots of todays electronic music effects. Deliberately dense delay, heavy filtration, flange, and phasing all have roots in that era and there’s endless inspiration there. Second, The amount of obscure eastern music that we haven’t heard is staggering, and there’s a whole frontier of new music that can come from that. The distortion and dirt of Gaslamp’s original tracks fit right in the mix with the classic vinyl gems he’s played and you can really get a glimpse into where his musical sensibilities are coming from. He also seems to have a thing for screaming organs.

This mix is NSFGL.

Stream the whole mix here for the next 7 days

You probably know Nick Hook even if you don’t think you do. As a member of Cubic Zirconia and Hudson  Mohawke collaborator (and probably a lot more behind the scenes work), you’ve probably listened to Hook’s music in one form or another. So while Without You is Hook’s debut, it’s not a debut in the purest sense of the word. Presented by Scion A/V (whose A&R’s or whomever have been on point as of late), Without You is a scattershot collection of tracks with influences from across the music spectrum, ranging from  plodding psych rock (“It’s A Sin”) to bombastic, apocalyptic hip hop (“Sirens”). Like Hook’s previous work, the collection is built on collaborations and The Gaslamp Killer, Computer Jay, El-P and Machinedrum all make appearances. Not taking anything away from Hook, but Without You is at its best when he’s assisted by another producer. Head over to the Scion A/V website to grab Without You and be sure to check out his hilarious Q&A column over at XLR8R.

If you’ve seen Flying Lotus perform over the past few months, then you’re in for some serious (hopefully drug addled) flashbacks. Last night, Mr. Ellison graced Diplo’s BBC 1Xtra show with his presence, letting loose a stream of party ready tracks, ranging crunchy Dubstep to true school Chicago  juke. You might remember his chipmunk-ed out version of Schoolboy Q’s “Hands On The Wheel” and Mono/Poly’s “Los Angeles”, both staples in his live set. The mix also features a mini section from the one and only Gaslamp Killer, featuring tunes off of Breakthrough. If my words haven’t piqued your interest yet, check out “Flotus” below, a brilliant unreleased FlyLo jam that makes you wonder what else the madman has stuck away in his hard-drive. Head over to the BBC website to stream the full mix.

Since its inception around the mid aughts, the Los Angeles beat scene has turned out dozens of stars, garnering acclaim across the globe.  The residents of Low End Theory spend weeks at a time traveling and performing in locales as far-flung as Japan. Similar scenes have popped up in just about every city in the US spawning a whole new generation of talented DJ’s and producers. Flying Lotus is generally (and rightfully) credited as the breakout star, but another man, born William Bensussen, has had as much or more of a role in the promulgation of the City of Angels’ distinct sound. That’s right, the Mother.Fucking.Gaslamp.Killer. Known for his unparalleled crate digging, inexhaustible energy and the  sheer number of angles his hair can point simultaneously, GLK is one of the most visible members of LA’s music community. Despite this, his production skills are often overlooked. As of September 18, that trend will surely end. That’s the day Bensussen’s debut full length, the aptly titled Breakthrough, will smack everyone who’s anyone who’s anything across the face like a cold fish. September is a long ways away so the Killer let loose the first single from the LP for all the devout followers of the church of GLK. Head over to Pitchfork to stream the Miguel Atwood-Ferguson assisted track, which will hopefully be out in some other incantation in the near future, and start the countdown to September 18.