LOTUS PLAZA – THE FLOODLIGHT COLLECTIVE (KRANKY, 2009)

Man, this is pretty. Like the photograph on top of the blog pretty. Like driving through the salt flats in the early morning pretty. Like birds flying off a telephone wire underneath a cloudy sky pretty. Like Deerhunter at their most fluid and ambient pretty. Lotus Plaza is the solo project of Deerhunter guitarist Lockett Pundt. While not exactly being Weird Era cont. cont.  The Floodlight Collective enjoys a beauty all it’s own. Lotus Plaza succeeds in blending the dream-pop from it’s fraternal twin Deerhunter with throbbing vocal and instrumental drones of William Basinksi or Julianna Barwick buried deep in the mix. Imagine if the ambient instrumental parts of Cryptograms were more listenable and were propped up by equal parts pop aesthetic and sonic texture. Repeated listening brings unexpected surprises, like the steel guitar on “Quicksand” or the chopping block bass line of “Different Mirrors” to the sparse Kompakt style electronics of the title track.  The overdubbed, hypnotic effect of reverb heavy guitar and looped vocal patterns mesh into a halluciongenic collage.Lotus Plaza earns a certain timeless quality that is situated somewhere between a nameless sense of nostalgia and a “Kill Yr. Idols”  approach to a future musical aesthetic where the drums, bass, guitar standards are used to completely cancel each other out creating a sound that is at once familiar and become an a whiteout of noise. Deerhunter, in my opinion, is one of the better bands of the 21st century, and this is a worthy companion to anything on both of their break out albums. If you are ever in a mood, like I have been in for the past week, where you keep Microcastle on repeat for hours, make sure you follow up with The Floodlight Collective as a chaser. There are moments of unrestrained beauty on this album that make me shudder. If Deerhunter doesn’t grace us with a full length this year this is a more than sufficient surrogate. My hat is off mr. Lockhart Pundt.

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