Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lotus Plaza

[Quick update on the back-and-forth between this blog and the band Asteroid #4: World Peace has been restored. We had a summit meeting at Camp David, representatives were sent, negotiations were had, hands were shaken, and water has now passed under the bridge. Also, the band has generously and free-of-charge shared their most recent albums with Joy of Speed, which is cool, so there will be a review sometime in the near future!]

Now back to regularly scheduled programming: I've mentioned Lotus Plaza on this blog before on one of my various long rambling posts on the whole Deerhunter family, but I couldn't resist one more mention. I fucking love Lotus Plaza's new album entitled Spooky Action At A Distance. Just to reiterate, Lotus Plaza is the side project of Deerhunter guitarist Lockett Pundt, who from what I can tell is the "quiet and shy one." Where Deerhunter operates like a fullscale rock band with a gamut of influences and tools, Lotus Plaza communicates a more private sensibility. The music is not necessarily innovative, but it's beautifully executed. It's mostly a variation of shoegaze pop, maybe harking back to bands such as Ultra Vivid Scene from the late 1980s, with bits and pieces of Stereolab thrown in, especially in the way in which the band finds bliss in repetition. Lockett has a crazy talent for mesmerizing minimalism: repeated riffs pummel your brain and unmoor you from the ground and put your head in a haze. The obvious touchstone here is My Bloody Valentine (Isn't Anything more than Loveless), but Lotus Plaza is much more poppy. And I gotta admit that this is album is very romantic, wraps you in a kind of swooning romance that is perfect if you're happy and in love, with just a hint that what you got is not gonna last too long, but you might as well enjoy it. This is one of my favorite records of this year so far. Definitely in the top five.

As a footnote, Spooky Action at a Distance is not Lotus Plaza's first album. Back in 2009, Lockett released The Floodlight Collective. I wouldn't recommend that first tentative debut, mostly because the production is so muddled that you can barely make out anything. I've read that he wanted the album to be vague, but it's a little too disjointed, and sounds like music made underwater with a cassette player.

Anyway, standout tracks on Spooky Action include:



"Jet out of the Tundra"

Other reviews of the album here and here.

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