The Gaslamp Killer
The HiFi Club, FunkSoulNation & Catacomb Presents The Gaslamp Killer + Bambooman
The Gaslamp Killer is a Los Angeles-based DJ whose eclectic style ranges from psychedelia and world music to dubstep and left-field hip-hop. He is a bonafide one-off; an artist and human being that can never be repeated. With an unparalleled energy, the DJ, producer, promoter and curator brings a different level of performance and showmanship to electronic music that has to be seen to be believed. Associated with Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder Records, he made his production debut in the late 2000s with a series of EPs culminating, for the time being that is, in the release on Brainfeeder of his debut full-length album 'Breakthrough' in September 2012.
Born William Benjamin Bensussen, he originally comes from San Diego, California, whose downtown Gaslamp District’s bar scene inspired him to name himself the Gaslamp Killer in disgust for much of the patronage. Upon relocating to Los Angeles, he found a niche for himself amid the city’s massive underground party scene and ultimately found a home for himself as a resident DJ at the club Low End Theory, "L.A.'s monolithic weekly showcase for uncut beat-driven tracks", which resulted in a series of club-sponsored podcasts.
Being a true music lover, and a complete obsessive, as a DJ/selector Bensussen has opened minds around the world to music that wouldn’t otherwise get heard. In his own words: “As artists, it’s our job to entertain as well as educate.” Alongside co-founder Daddy Kev, The Gaslam Killer has put Southern California on the music map for years to come, with their beat mecca Low End Theory and the vibrant creative community they’ve built around it. The weekly Wednesday club night has brought together different scenes and generations, breaking new artists while also getting the likes of Thom Yorke and Erykah Badu to play DJ sets to the fevered Low End crowd, who often wait hours to get in.
Over the last ten years, The Gaslamp Killer’s iconoclastic attitude has led him beyond LA to far-reaching corners of the globe, one stage at a time: from Pitch in Amsterdam, to Sonar in Barcelona, to Austin Psych Fest, to Roskilde in Denmark, to Coachella. Holding a collection of well over 13,000 vinyl records, GLK’s untamed, unpredictable sets take traditional genres of rock into the outer reaches of hip-hop and the deep into the cosmic pressure of the heaviest electronic beats, with plenty of obscurity and bizarreness in-between.
“The music that I grew up with influences me today enormously still. I love classic rock, I still love Dub and I still love Rap. Real rap. Gangsta rap. I love bands, live bands, it’s the music I grew up with. I don’t think there are that many bands that can compare to Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Doors. They’re not popular for no reason. I play The Beatles in my sets all the time still. Their music is a huge influence on me. I still play Dr Dre in my set all the time. His beats and the rhymes, the energy, they just affect me so much. They are a part of me. As well as Hip Hop, as well as Rock, and Blues, and Soul, and Jazz, and Reggae, and Dub. That kind of music I think lends to everything that we are all into today. All of us are fueled by that. The formulas that they laid and the foundations that they laid are used by musicians forever and will continue to be used forever.”
As a producer, The Gaslamp Killer has worked with artists such as Gonjasufi, Prefuse 73 and Flying Lotus. His own experimental solo material pushes the borders of genre as much as his performances, particularly with his heavy-weighted EP ‘My Troubled Mind’ (Brainfeeder) and the monster ‘Death Gate‘ EP (Brainfeeder), which featured Gonjasufi, Computer Jay and Mophono.
Released on Brainfeeder in September 2012, ‘Breakthrough’ marked the debut full-length album from The Gaslamp Killer. Blending California-inspired psych with widespread global influences, on ‘Breakthrough’ The Gaslamp Killer brings together a potent cast of friends to contribute to the album, with guest appearances from Gonjasufi, Adrian Younge, Dimlite, Daedelus, Samiyam and more - A musical anachronism and unconstrained compilation from a wandering spirit!
The HiFi Club