Story and photos by Matt SchwenkeMove the tables and chairs aside and make room for the dance party that is Lotus-- a five-piece amalgamation of drum'n'bass, house, jazz, funk and world elements. Touring in support of their first studio album Nomad, released in 2004, the Philadelphia-based Lotus brought their well-spun web of musical influences to Shank Hall and had the room moving to their every ebb and flow. The expanding sounds of "Spiritualize," from the latest release, warmed things up early and displayed the band's tighter and more precise approach in elaborate song structure. Further evidenced in "Suitcases," the band's newer sounds are more dynamic in both mood and instrumentation. Going back to the looser grooves of "Nematode" and "Flower Sermon" from the live album Germination, drummer Steve Clements and percussionist Chuck Morris were a solid platform for twin brothers Jesse and Luke Miller to expand from with tasteful bass licks and airy synth sounds. Adding scenery to the already detailed soundscape, guitarist Mike Rempel wandered in and out of the grooves with entrancing, jazz-like solos.
Though Lotus may be easily grouped along side the equally eclectic and electronic Sound Tribe Sector 9 or fellow Harmonized recording artists Perpetual Groove, Lotus is easily distinguishable from the rest with their uniquely up-lifting, feel-good style. Melding the similarities between techno and jam music, Lotus keeps the human touch of traditional jam band improv and adds the synthetic and mathematical beauty of electronica.
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