Lotus Eater - Plasma Music Album Reviews

Lotus Eater - Plasma Music Album Reviews
The latest collaboration from Luca Mortellaro and Seth Horvitz is a vision of techno as a luminous fog, conjuring vivid imagery with the most stone-faced drones.

Luca Mortellaro and Seth Horvitz share roots in techno, but both artists long ago pushed into more esoteric realms. Since founding the Berlin label Stroboscopic Artefacts in 2009, Mortellaro—aka Lucy—has specialized in a shadowy, mystical style evoking ancient rituals and crumbling ruins. Their last solo album, 2016’s Self Mythology, offered a vision of techno as archaeological dig, tracing sooty rhythms outlined beneath centuries of rubble. Horvitz’ Rrose project, on the other hand, oscillates between high tech and the higher plane: Its piercing frequencies and sharp pivots resemble the balletic movements of lasers, while the slippery glissandi and cascading levels of rhythmic detail suggest the dazzling geometry ascribed to DMT trips and near-death experiences. 

Lucy and Rrose first collaborated in 2016 with The Lotus Eaters EP, and they formalized their partnership as Lotus Eater with 2018’s Desatura. Perhaps it’s the contrast between their approaches—earth vs. air, fire vs. water—that makes their union sound so eerily dematerialized. Despite its ambient overtones, their debut album maintained at least a notional link to dance music in its rounded kick drums and pinging arpeggios. But on Plasma, there are no hard surfaces, no angles or edges, no impacts at all: It’s still techno, but the beats and even most of the bass have evaporated. What’s left is only a luminous fog, the ghost of a pulse strobing at its gaseous core.

Plasma descends from Porter Ricks’ Biokinetics and Plastikman’s Consumed, landmarks of ’90s minimalist techno that privileged grain over groove, yet its microtonal dimension shares more in common with avant-garde composers like La Monte Young or Folke Rabe. Where club techno favors immediate payoffs, one juicy serotonin burst at a time, Lucy and Rrose are playing the long game here: Very little actually happens in any of these pieces, and what does, happens very slowly. There are no melodies, no hooks, no mile markers; to listen to these pieces is to be swept along in their inexorable flow. 

The palette consists largely of buzzing tungsten and bowed metal accented by the occasional leaky faucet. Still, for all the outward paucity of their materials, Lotus Eater conjure some remarkably vivid imagery with the most stone-faced drones. In a single track, a cluster of humming frequencies might morph from a fistful of loam—black, sparkling, tactile, alive—into a blast of dry ice, an alarm clock raging, a jet engine at full roar. Try as you might, you’re never quite sure how you’ve gotten from one point to the next; Lotus Eater’s patient fades and filter sweeps imbue these transmogrifications with something like a feeling of inevitability, no matter how bewildering their evolution may appear. 

While there are no conventional drums, a hint of techno lingers, like a grave rubbing, in the music’s muted throb, which dully and dutifully trudges in time with dance music’s steadfast four-to-the-floor cadence. This submerged rhythm is the organizing principle around which their teeming worlds of microscopic detail snap together, like metal filings around a magnet. But the duo’s psychedelic intensity is most perceptible in a pair of tracks on the album’s back half, “Intracluster” and “The End of Words,” where even the faintest trace of rhythm is snuffed out. Both are constructed from innumerable layers of vibration that buzz and rattle out of sync with each other, stacked like layers of a pyramid—from bassy throb and midrange crackle all the way up to a rapid-fire shimmer that scrapes the upper edge of the audible threshold. In the absence of musical events, you begin to imagine riff-like shapes materializing in the slightest repeated flicker of tone, like mirages bubbling up from the sizzling tarmac. In this, Lotus Eater prove themselves master illusionists: They use electricity to play tricks on your mind, and the results are both thrilling and a little scary.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Lotus Eater - Plasma Music Album Reviews Lotus Eater - Plasma Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on December 16, 2022 Rating: 5


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