The Gaslamp Killer Interview


The Gaslamp Killer calls himself an angry psycho, but he's not crazy. It's a crucial distinction to make, particularly for a guy that has released EP's entitled My Troubled Mind and Death Gate—plus the mix Hell and the Lake of Fire are Waiting for You! Crazy people usually aren't very productive. And for the last year, the Los Angeles producer and DJ has been a beat mercenary, jet-setting from Serbia to London's South End and back to his Mount Washington base in Los Angeles—rarely missing a Wednesday night at the Low End Theory, where he's one of the famed weekly's five residents.

Were you to catch one of his DJ sets, however, you'd be well-served to project your neck. The name is no joke, conjuring Victorian visions of crepuscular shadows and sharp knives. The Motherfucking Gaslamp Killer (or GLK if you're into brevity) plays like he's out for blood. Classify him at your own peril. His mixes scan from Louis Armstrong blowing bronze dirges about St. James' infirmary to Flying Lotus dubplates, to dilated-eyed psych-rock, to Dr. Dre's "The Day the Niggaz Took Over." He's an ex-b-boy re-engineered and plutonium-powered, playing the filthiest beats culled from his 10,000 platter-strong collection.

But in the Internet-era, any amateur with BitTorrent and facility-surfing blogs can dig without leaving their den. And though he has competition, no one can top the kinetic nature of his live sets. The 27-year old William Bensussen is pure voltage, the third rail instantiated, a whirling dervish covered in a curtain of corkscrew curls and the mustache of a Baltimore saloon-keeper circa 1920. His dance moves resemble Frankenstein staggering off the operating table and Jim James of My Morning Jacket letting loose guitar pyrotechnics on his Flying V. Like the Wu-Tang said, "if it ain't raw it's worthless." The Gaslamp Killer is raw.

Most recently, he's gained notice for his own beats and his collaborations with Gonjasufi, the dreadlocked and warlock-voiced Warp Records signee. GLK's forthcoming Death Gate EP drops next month on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder Records and promises a continuation of the aesthetic birthed on last year's My Troubled Mind: A voodoo potion of obscure Ethiopian soul and acid-addled Turkish rock, tinctured with science fiction synthesizers and off-kilter percussion laced by LA linchpin Computer Jay.

Read the interview on Resident Advisor.