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The Gaslamp Killer: Flange Face

William Bensussen, otherwise known as ‘The Gaslamp Killer’ remains a relatively cryptic character, despite coming to notoriety on the LA club scene and as a result the wider international circuit. He was one of the founding residents at Daddy Kev’s ‘Low End Theory’ events which could arguably be considered one of the most influential forces evolving the cities soundscape in recent years. Featuring countless repeat performances from the likes of Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing, Daedalus and Thom Yorke to name a few, it goes without saying that everything emanating from this space in time has had a profound impact on its surroundings.

The GLK, as he is more affectionately known has released a string of diverse EP’s over the years and racked up production credits with the likes of Prefuse 73, Flying Lotus, Ganjasufi and Free The Robots. ‘Flange Face (with Miguel Atwood-Ferguson)’, the first single to drop from his debut album ‘Breakthrough’, has been causing a stir over recent months. From the outset, thickly textured distortion and dissonant incidentals begin an intently distressing journey. Layered guitars, keys and exacerbating synth work build powerful imagery until carefully juxtaposed by a well composed string score. For the listener this provides momentary relief until the strings get engulfed by the surrounding horror. Incredibly well structured, all-though implicitly scary, ‘Flange Face’ has a stroke of mastery to it.

The ‘Low End Theory Edit’ is, as to be expected, tailored further towards the dance floor and booming sound system sub’s. Placing more emphasis on rhythmic distortion, heavily filtered drum patterns and broad basslines, the track takes on an ever so slightly psychotic edge. Drawing the release to a close, some relief can be found in ‘Seven Years Bad Luck For Fun (Ft. Dimlite)’. Although still decidedly sinister, the B-side resembles less chaotic elements and harps back to the days of Cut-Chemist and DJ Shadow’s era of Hip-Hop amalgamations. Fusing sampled based drum loops with syncopated syntheses a more hypnotic air is achieved. A decidedly well-crafted EP, that on first listen might be cast aside as an assault on the senses, later appears more articulate than originally suggests.