Lotic – the project of J’Kerian Morgan shares a new single/video, “Emergency,” from her forthcoming album, Water, which is out October 29th on Houndstooth.
Following lead single/video “Come Unto Me,””Emergency” is an urgent electronic cut. Atmospheric synths give way to Lotic’s siren-like voice as percussion ricochets in the background. “‘Emergency’ is me fully owning my sexuality for the first time,” says Lotic. “I transitioned a few years ago and it taught me that men really have way too much testosterone flowing through their bodies. It makes them act crazy and all they care about is sexual fulfilment, but I can demand pleasure and orgasms too!” The accompanying video, directed by LIL INTERNET, is beautifully choreographed and presents another look into Lotic’s cohesive aesthetic.
The last decade has irrevocably shaped the arc of Morgan’s life. The liberatory impact she has had on experimental club music as Lotic (meaning, “Of, relating to, or living in flowing water”) has in turn folded back into her creative practice, revealing a more finely-realised and intriguing evolution with each subsequent iteration. A decade bookended by chapters in Texas, USA and Berlin, Germany, saw Lotic navigate personal hardship and upheaval while garnering acclaim for an expansive production style; unpredictably nestling searing knife’s-edge sound design next to pop music hooks, hypnotic vocal reverie and the lineage of Black club cultures.
From studying film and electronic music at the University of Texas at Austin, she released her darkly complex debut EP More Than Friends, in 2011. Upon her move to Berlin in 2012, Lotic’s freewheeling sound aesthetic quickly cut a swath through the city’s nightlife with resident DJ sets at Berghain and Chesters nightclubs. A series of well-received mixtapes followed and she soon attracted the attention of avant-garde iconoclast Björk, who stated, “Lotic is one of the fiercest performer DJs I have ever heard.” This led to collaborative work on remixes for the Icelandic artists’s Vulnicura album and an invitation to open her 2015 Berlin concert.
Lotic’s debut album Power, released in 2018, transformed feelings of fear and vulnerability into a consolidation of personal agency and strength. The record was praised for its polished production style and its narrative reflections on race, sexuality, and gender.
Lotic’s latest release, the bewitchingly intimate 2021 album Water, for Houndstooth, is a stunning revelation; a tender meditation on love’s losses and lifeforce, timelines, bloodlines and resilience. Arriving at the end of a period Morgan recalls as, “having to be adaptable, while being dragged through the trenches,” Water adds the haunting quality of siren song to a career already marked by its engaging emotionality.To arrive at Water meant to become like water. Lotic dedicated two years to a deep, intentional process of surrendering to softness, welcoming impermanence, embracing intimate relationships with her environment and self. Yet, to embrace vulnerability is to welcome its totality. Water heals, and it harms. It can sharpen, scald or silently consume. Water is a conduit for human corruption, such as the wrenching cruelty of forced Middle Passage crossings, yet water remains a site of ritual and absolution, a source of constant renewal.
Through Water, Lotic acknowledges, heals and exalts relationships that are complex and nonlinear. With nine distinct compositions she gently collapses concepts of time and selfhood, meeting the eyes of the ancestral, the shadowed, the total and part selves with a steady loving gaze, locked in an infinite reflection.
Water is the complete embodiment of Lotic’s dedicated praxis; one which unpicks a certain narrative about corrosive angst and outlier musicality. Within Water, Lotic’s compositions curve around the sub bass of an 808, with vibrations and hums superseding clarity and separation. Drums are softened to a powdery warmth, and each chapter unfolds as a symphonic sound poem. Heartful depictions of love relationships to others and the self, to ancestry and identity, are marked by stunning new expressions of ecstatic voices.