Lotic - the project of J’Kerian Morgan - announces her new album, Water, out October 29th on Houndstooth, and shares the lead single/video, “Come Unto Me.” The bewitching Water 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.” To arrive at Water meant to become like water. Lotic dedicated two years to a deep, intentional process of surrendering to softness, welcoming impermanence, and 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, yet water remains a site of ritual and absolution, a source of constant renewal.
“Come Unto Me” is the synchronous telling of a cherished partnership and a lament for its loss through time. It relishes in connectedness with the lyrics, “Seeing you fully hear you entirely / Need you to know I / Love you truly, deeply,” while foreshadowing the inevitable need to soon turn those sentiments towards herself. Its bittersweetness reflects in the unlikely union of sludgy tones and delicate, celestial chimes. Speaking about the Matt Lambert-directed video, Lotic says “1.8 million Africans died on the Middle Passage; their bodies were thrown into the Atlantic. Had their cells been able to adapt to this new ecosystem, and thrive and multiply, perhaps a glorious new culture and history would have been possible."
The last decade has irrevocably shaped the arc of J’Kerian 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-realized and intriguing evolution with each subsequent iteration. A decade bookended by chapters in Texas and Berlin 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. Lotic’s commitment to inquiring, communing, evolving, has been a guiding principle throughout. In 2011, Lotic released her darkly complex debut EP More Than Friends. 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, including Fallout (2013), Damsel in Distress (2014), Agitations (2015) and Heterocetera (2015). 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 Vulnicuraalbum and an invitation to open her 2015 Berlin concert. Lotic’s debut album Power, released in 2018, was praised for its polished production style and its narrative reflections on race, sexuality, and gender. Water is the complete embodiment of Lotic’s dedicated praxis; one which unpicks a certain narrative about corrosive angst and outlier musicality. 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.