Lorn, Nothing Else
Jagged, ear-drum rupturing dubstep
Where Brainfeeder artists Flying Lotus, the Gaslamp Killer and Teebs mostly worked at the intersection of hip-hop and psychedelia in 2010, their label-mate Lorn took a different approach: darker, starker, grounded in buzzing synthesizers and eardrum-rupturing snare cracks rather than percussive ripple and cosmic jazz. The difference might be explained, in part, by geography. Unlike the rest of the Brainfeeder crew, the 23-year-old Lorn has no ties to Los Angeles; he lives in Illinois, and his music bears the most immediate comparison to the jagged, bleepy dubstep of UK artists like Zomby and Joker. But you can hear his distance from that tradition, too, in the gaping absences between drums and synths, and in the almost over-the-top sense of melancholy. Rhythmically, it's an incredibly playful album, with triplets cutting against staggered breakbeats and arpeggios tangling at every turn. But those crunching rhythms and icicle melodies give Nothing Else the feel of trudging through deep snow, far from comfort, with only the fragmented beats and riffs in your mind to keep your mind off the biting cold.