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"Power" is the debut album from Lotic, an expansive exploration of the many ways in which power can be expressed and experienced. Those familiar with Lotic’s two 2015 EPs - "Heterocetera" (Tri Angle) and "Agitations" (Janus) - will trace a warm-blooded evolution: "Power" retains the Berlin musician’s inquisitive intensity, while mining the depths of nuance like never before.
Across its 11 songs, Lotic stretches their wings into unexpected new spaces, both compositionally, and, for the first time, vocally. "Hunted" returns the colonial gaze with an arched eyebrow and a hushed chant in one of the more pop-leaning moments on the album. "Distribution of Care" pulls Lotic’s rigorous club aesthetic into a symphonic context, pairing strings and drums in a wordless questioning of society’s priorities.
The playful "Nerve" serves up an icy hip hop beat over which they invoke their H-Town roots while issuing a warning. And, of course, there couldn’t be a sonic exposition of power without its most generous manifestation: "Heart" is a love ballad that finds Lotic and NON Records’s Moro, the album’s sole guest, trading vulnerable verses.
'It originally started as an empowerment album,' says Lotic. 'I felt that I needed to offer something outside of myself, as sort of a healing moment. And then I lost my apartment. Mentally, I could only work on music once every three months or something. The question of what would be empowering - the answer to that changed so often over a two-year period. I had to figure out who I was all over again. With this record, I went back and incorporated all of my musical selves.'
Lotic was born in Houston and studied electronic music composition and saxophone at university. They moved to Berlin in 2012, where they helped form the Janus club collective. In 2015, they were commissioned to create two remixes for Björk’s "Vulnicura" and subsequently were invited to be the opening act at her live show in Berlin.
Mine says: Listening to the first few tracks on this album quickly made me turn to Patrick to ask whether this would be a likely candidate for our popular 'weird shit' section (spoiler: it isn't), which ended in a heated discussion about what genre, if not weird shit, 'Power' could be categorised as. Matt insisted it was synth pop, while Millie suggested that maybe it is simply 'unique'. I think I will go with the latter and say that it is so genre-bending that it doesn't fit in a box. 'Power' definitely isn't an easy listen but it is refreshingly different.
1. Love And Light
4. Distribution Of Care
5. The Warp And The Weft
12. Burn A Print