Release Date: Mar 3, 2015
Record label: Tri Angle
Genre(s): Electronic, Rap, Underground Rap, IDM
There are familiar ideas in J'Kerian Morgan's music, but they're rarely left undamaged. Rather than working within existing genres, Morgan takes templates and smashes them against the wall, letting the resulting splatter form a sort of musical Rorschach pattern. As Lotic, he shares a penchant for destruction with his fellow residents from Janus, a roving Berlin party that emphasizes weirdness and otherness.
Last week, Cashmere Cat released an airy new track called "Adore", featuring Ariana Grande, that lifted some of the industrial clang and reverberation from the ballroom house anthem "The Ha Dance", by Masters at Work. It might be surprising to hear this piece of black, gay underground dance culture drift into Ariana Grande's sphere, but part of what draws major-label collaborators (Tinashe, Charli XCX and, now, Kanye West) into Cashmere Cat's orbit is his Tumblr-ready ear, which is where today’s aesthetic subcultures flourish. "Ha" isn’t as immediately identifiable on the Cashmere Cat song as it is on Lotic’s "Heterocetera".
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Lotic grew up in Houston, Texas, studying music before moving permanently to Berlin in 2012. It's a journey many electronic musicians make, with the German capital being a much more fertile ground both for inspiration and experimentation than the more immediate, instant gratification culture of North American dance music scene.
Lotic is all about provocation. The unhinged, disjointed club music that J’Kerian Morgan dishes out provokes the listener to question their own sense of expectation while redefining the limits of what they can endure. On 2014’s stunning DAMSEL in DISTRESS mix, Lotic provoked us in part by toying with our collective memory. Not only did he completely reconfigure one of the year’s most cherished pop songs, but the beat patterns and melodies that tore across the mix birthed unfamiliar milieus that led to new ways of thinking about both the original track and the club landscape as a whole.
Lotic (aka producer/DJ J'Kerian Morgan) earned a significant amount of praise for the EPs he released on #FEELINGS and Sci-Fi & Fantasy, but it was his 2014 mixtape Damsel in Distress that drew raves. Crafted in the wake of an agonizing breakup, it was some of his most moving music in both senses of the word: its wrenched, tweaked beats and melodies were sometimes tortured but always compelling as they nodded to IDM, the '90s house venerated by ball culture, and 2010s R&B. Climaxing with a raw, spooky reworking of a live version of Beyonce's "Drunk in Love" that stripped down the song to her all-consuming vocals and a trap beat, it was the most dramatic expression of Lotic's powers yet.