Choosing Berlin as their abode, the new album by Texan born artist is an “expansive exploration of the many ways in which power can be expressed and experienced”.
Few years ago, LOTIC ventured into the world of quirky electronica with two EPs, ‘Heterocetera’ and ‘Agitations’, but it’s on this long player ‘Power’ that they introduce vocal experimentations for the first time.
The self-confessed lovers of pronounced beats and drums, LOTIC wanted to bring into being, an album of empowerment which became a plethora of various colours of strength, and in few instances, weakness.
Even though the artist found it tricky to call themselves a musician, which may sound strange, coming from someone who studied electronic music composition and saxophone and who’s probably more trained classically than most of electronic artists in Germany and the rest of the world has to offer, LOTIC manages to intertwine tenderness and the power of survival in many shapes.
‘Hunted’, which heralds the outing, was one of the first born tracks designed for the long player, with whispered messages over the primal, found sounds and bouncy rhythm to leave the survival imprint; it is accompanied by an insidious video, shot on a beach in Majorca.
‘Love & Light’, although tentatively starting like what it says on the tin, has the undertones of menace and uncertainty, veiled under delicate bells almost like a music box, while ‘Bulletproof’ has the messy qualities of BJÖRK meets IAMX.
‘Distribution of Care’ shows off the drums as if straight from the marching band, and one can just imagine the stepping routines, which the artist recognises as “so black”.
In order to survive in the polarising world of today, one needs ‘Resilience’, served on a plate of gritty synth with a sprinkling of tubular bells, as the ‘Fragility’ doesn’t always pay off. What a way to shape shift from two opposites!
The voice comes back on ‘Nerve’, which is an amalgamation of New York rap, quirky sounds reminiscent of GAZELLE TWIN and everything in between. Further experiments are palpable on ‘Heart’ with an urgent musical message and ‘Solace’, which closes the eclectic mix of tunes.
To juxtapose the meanings, ‘Power’, sitting towards the end of the opus, falls like gentile musical droplets from the sky of abundance, but what is the sky abundant with?
Sudden noises, confusion, non-descript shots of powerful synth, followed by drilling sounds, a mish-mash of bizarre elements to serve brutality, only to be followed again by delicate bells and mesmerising melody.
After ‘Agitations’ where LOTIC set out to be purposefully aggressive and ostentatiously dark, ‘Power’ is to simply empower using any means disposable. It is commanding to discover a debut album not weary of experimentation and not directed for an instant commercial success, even if it means to be more niche with the audience.
Following in the steps of GAZELLE TWIN, the American in Berlin isn’t opposed to mad musical professor trials, if it means they achieve their own personal work of art, their realisation and their freedom, sounding like anything between BJÖRK, THE KNIFE, FEVER RAY and AUSTRA.
If you’re in the market for the unusual electronica taken to the limits, search no further.
‘Power’ is released by Tri Angle Records on 13th July 2018, pre-order direct from https://loticmusic.bandcamp.com/album/power
LOTIC will present their debut album ‘Power’ amongst the immersive walls of MONOM’s 4DSOUND installation at Berlin Funkhaus on the same day
Text by Monika Izabela Trigwell
Photos by Matt Lambert
2nd July 2018