Review: Lotic’s chrysalis embrace in ‘Power’

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Lotic | Power | Tri Angle Records

Release date: 13 June 2018

Review by Jenna Dreisenstock

With the overwhelm of delicacies and beauty and their simultaneous struggle, abject horror and oppression; the connection between all, whether it be glimmering beauty in the embrace of the self, or the seemingly captive spiral of this world which may feel nightmarish: the break away from our ingrained perceptions of what what is and what could be, the journey of losing oneself and coming back to oneself; reconnecting in ways which we never imagined, on paths we could have never predicated.

In their debut album Power, American born and now Berlin based composer and musician Lotic explores what it means to lose oneself, to feel alienated within the spaces we take up; filled with many bodies, with warmth as well as the spine-chill of our reality – along with the true strength of what it means to embrace one’s true self. Even in the struggle of this society, a world in which we may feel as though control will never lie directly within our palms – we do have our voices, our creations and our experiences: from our lost paths and the ways in which we reconnect and breakout, the ways in which we move forward.

Brown skin, masculine frame, head’s a target
Had to grow feminine, think I found it

Opening with urgent ache of whirring whisper and raw breath, ‘Hunted’ shrills in fast, tender vulnerability; the shadow of overcast harmonies singing in chorus amongst the wound of rapid breath in reflection. Coloured in electronic star-stud sphere, the textural atmosphere howls stealth in running further away; beneath the cover of gloaming in the desperation of the hunter and the prey; the chase and run from senseless brutality – black lives being gunned down, gender exploration and fluidity a supposed sin, the so-called unattural. The hunters tearing apart lives in their hands as the track glimmers in a paced ambient break; the tender harmonies amongst ambience, the vocal sweetness, soundscape of melody and timbre reminiscent of falsetto chillwave maestro Baths. The painful subject glittering in a light simmer as a percussive glitch drives forward, a moment of reflection with the underlying need to run, run – protest in confidence and anxiety in truth.

A heavy distorted fuzz opens ‘Distribution of Care’, the heart-beat industrial metallic in percussion and an assertive colour pushes and pulls without overwhelm. An effect-soaked melody sparks beneath the shadow of the industrial, a fuzz in glamour; yet, with the sensation of stinging movement. A melodrama in the gradual progression of the melody and a timbre not unlike the awe of epic orchestral lore. A firefly pizzicato tone experiments in curiority, breaking through the heavy beat in times of spotlight and synth-cry – broken in two by a powerful percussive beat in accompanying bold presence; and loved in turn by soprano and classical string-esque synth waves. A dissonance in tone kept steady the haze of percussion and layered electronic-world closes the track in assuring yet slightly disconcerting orchestral-esque tone.

A twinkling ambient introduction, title track ‘Power’ shimmers in atmospheric gentleness; a sweet timbre of spinning music-box, dreamlike in it’s twirl glitters amongst the honeyed synth swells. The gentle melody pirouettes in slumber, singing whimsical in a loving lullaby and an overall tone as a safe space. The childlike whimsy sinks into a gloom, a moment of tension – in which breaks forth the assertive percussive control, acceleration in intensity; a timbre break from the lyrical poetic into loving force. The curiosity of metallic artificial peeks through in experimental synth, strong moments of silence between the robotic speak of harsh tone. The shriek of feedback pouring further into a strident driven beat, experimental glitch and overwhelm of the type of assured blast-beats which could drive any ‘metal’ fans envious. The appearance of twinkling 80’s-esque melodies stepping through into another genre-break, charming like golden bells and sweet synth outro.

In dramatic and theatrical vocal lines, Lotic opens ‘Solace’ with their rich velveteen sound, soulful in nature and with bold reverie and introspection:

How can I just be
Healthy living free
Fearless, able to breathe
With so much standing in between?

An accompanying twilight-scape of electronic texture constructs the beauty in atmospheric musing, synths shine bright in companionship; butterfly gentleness yet with melancholic rarity, Lotic’s vocals sweep vibrant in a sway of introspection, constellation melodies embracing glitch and hazy dazzle of fuzz both loving and in a disconcerting manner; ghostly harmonies progress further into Lotic’s delicate adour in intricate introspection, ranging from angelic vocals to sparks of electronic distortion and ambience.

How can I just be
Healthy living free
Fearless, able to breathe
With so much standing in between?

Regardless of whether the ways in which we discover ourselves repeat, morph and break apart only to be combined once again, in PowerLotic reminds us of the strength of creativity and self-expression. How our voices, our expressions – our creations, live as reminders to one another that we are indeed powerful: our collective experiences, the ways in which we love, loathe or represent ourselves can build entirely new perspectives – whether it’s through our own journey, the traverse of companionship or the realities and selves in which we shape.

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